Canadian authorities are looking for two men in connection with a mass shooting Sunday that left at least 10 dead and 15 injured at multiple crime scenes in central Saskatchewan Canada.
Authorities have identified the two suspects than Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson, and advise the public to take appropriate precautions. The pair are considered armed and dangerous traveling in a black Nissan Rogue with a Saskatchewan license plate 119 MPI.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba are jointly investigating the stabbings.
“We are dedicating the highest level of resources to this investigation,” Saskatchewan RCMP Deputy Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said in a statement.
“Let me be clear, we’re still looking for the two suspects. We ask residents of Saskatchewan and our neighboring provinces to be vigilant. At this stage in our investigation, we believe some of the victims were assaulted by the suspects and others were assaulted indiscriminately,” Blackmore said.
authorities described Damien Sanderson as a 31-year-old male who is 5ft 7in tall, weighs 155 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. Myles Sanderson is described as a 30-year-old man, 6ft 1in tall and weighing 240 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Sunday In the afternoon, the stabbings were “appalling and heartbreaking”.
“As this is an evolving situation, I encourage everyone in the area to heed the advice of law enforcement to seek shelter and follow the proper precautions,” Trudeau wrote in a statement later Sunday. “The Government of Canada is in direct contact with the James Smith Cree Nation community leadership and we stand ready to help in any way we can. Those responsible for today’s heinous attacks must be brought to justice in full.”
“To James Smith Cree Nation and the people of Saskatchewan: we are thinking of you. We’re here to support you during this difficult time,” Trudeau said.
Blackmore said the first stabbing report came at 5:40 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET) on the James Smith Cree Nation and within minutes they received multiple calls reporting additional stabbings. Over the next six hours, the Saskatchewan RCMP sent out several alerts and updates regarding the stabbings, including issuing a Dangerous Persons Alert for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.
Authorities said there were 13 crime scenes where victims were found across Saskatchewan in the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon communities. Several victims were injured, with at least 15 taken to different hospitals, Blackmore said, adding there may be other injured victims who took themselves to the hospital.
“It’s certainly a very significant event, if not the largest, that we’ve seen in recent years,” Blackmore said.
James Smith Cree Nation leaders declared the state of emergency in response to the “numerous killings and attacks on members of the James Smith Cree Nation,” according to a statement posted on the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations’ Facebook page 74 First Nations in the Province.
Two emergency centers have been set up to provide health support to communities, the statement said.
Three STARS Air Ambulance helicopters were dispatched to the James Smith Cree Nation during the mass stabbing incident, STARS spokesman Mark Oddan told CNN. Two of the helicopters were from Saskatoon and one from Regina, he said.
The first crew from Saskatoon conducted an initial on-site triage of the victims, and the second plane brought a medic to the scene to assist with the triage and guide emergency response, Oddan said.
In a message to the two suspects, Blackmore said: “If Damien and Myles are listening or receiving this information, I would ask them to give themselves to the police immediately.”
“Our thoughts are with the many deceased and injured victims, their families, friends and the community. It’s terrible what happened in our province today,” she continued.
Sunday’s violence prompted officials to issue a “civil emergency‘ warned residents in the Regina area to ‘take precautions’.
“To everyone in Saskatchewan, especially those near James Smith Cree First Nation territory, please protect yourself where you are and stay safe,” Canada’s Minister for Public Safety said Marco Mendicino tweeted.
Prime Minister of Saskatchewan Scott Moe tweeted his condolences to the people of the province.
“There are no words to adequately describe the pain and loss caused by this senseless violence. All of Saskatchewan mourns with the victims and their families,” Moe tweeted.
The mass stabbings also led to this increased security at the Saskatchewan Roughriders game, the CFL team said on Twitter.
“As a result, additional members of law enforcement have been deployed throughout Mosaic Stadium and the surrounding area,” the statement said. “The club operates a central command center on match day, allowing instant connection to local emergency services and the ability to have up to date information in the event of an emergency.”