Suspect in Sask. stabbings possibly sighted on James Smith Cree Nation: RCMP

Police in Saskatchewan said authorities received a report of a possible sighting of Myles Sanderson, the remaining suspect in a series of stabbing attacks on the James Smith Cree Nation over the weekend.

“Investigators have received reports of a possible sighting of suspect Myles Sanderson in James Smith Cree Nation,” RCMP said in an update to a dangerous persons alert first issued on Sunday.

RCMP said officers are responding and instructed residents to seek shelter or shelter in place.

Shortly after the directive to seek shelter was issued, a CTV News journalist on scene witnessed what appeared to be a tactical team in the community.

The intensive search for Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, began early Sunday morning following multiple reports of stabbings on the James Smith Cree Nation — about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. The attacks left 10 dead and 19 injured.

Monday afternoon, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said forensic investigators have now identified a body found on the First Nation as Damien.

RCMP vehicles are seen on James Smith Cree Nation on Sept. 6, 2022. (Jill Macyshon/CTV News)

A 77-year-old man was also fatally attacked in the community of Weldon, Sask., roughly 30 kilometres southwest of the First Nation.

Police believed Myles may have been spotted in Regina just before 12 p.m. on Sunday. He was thought to be travelling in a black Nissan Rogue with the Saskatchewan licence plate 119 MPI.

Myles is just over six feet tall, weighing 240 pounds, according to police. Blackmore said police believe he could be injured and may attempt to seek medical attention.

Weldon resident Doreen Lees, 89, told the Canadian Press she and her daughter were approached Sunday morning by a man who said he was hurt and needed help.

“He had a big jacket over his face. We asked his name and he kind of mumbled his name twice and we still couldn’t get it,” Lees said.

Lees said the man ran off after her daughter offered to call for help. 

In a video posted on Twitter late Monday evening, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray acknowledged the time that has elapsed since the presumed sighting.

“That information that put him in our community is now well over a day old and we have not had any new information to determine that that is no longer factual,” Bray said.

“So we’re continuing to operate under the assumption that he is here until we get information that indicates otherwise.”

Bray took the opportunity to address parents who may be concerned about sending their kids to school with Myles still at large.

“There were very violent incidents that happened [Sunday] in northern Saskatchewan. However, since then, no more violence has occurred,” Bray said.

“There has been no repeat of that violence in our community and there’s no indication of a threat of violence happening in our city.”

However, Bray said Myles should still be considered armed and dangerous.

“We ask our community to continue to be very aware of your surroundings and report anything that’s unusual or any information,” Bray said.

Earlier in the day before Damien’s death was confirmed, RCMP charged the two men.

Myles faces three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of break and enter.

Damien was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of break and enter.

An interprovincial dangerous persons alert blanketing Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba remained in effect Tuesday morning.

On Monday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) confirmed it admitted 17 individuals with injuries related to the stabbing.

“There are currently 13 patients that remain in-hospital. Four patients are in critical condition, nine are in stable condition and four individuals have been discharged home to family,” the SHA statement said.

Police have not said why they believe the remaining fugitive is injured. But Doreen Lees, an 89-year-old resident from Weldon, said she and her daughter thought they saw one of the suspects when a car came barrelling down her street early Sunday.

Lees said a man approached them and said he was hurt and needed help, but he took off when her daughter said she would call for help.

   “He had a big jacket over his face. We asked his name and he kind of mumbled his name twice and we still couldn’t get it,” she said. “He said his face was injured so bad he couldn’t show it.”

   The stabbings have made headlines around the world and words of support have poured in from every quarter.

   Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, in a video posted to social media, said the province has augmented police with extra security, including protections at hospitals where some victims were being treated.

   “There are no words to adequately describe the pain and loss suffered by the victims’ families — this loss caused by these evil, vicious, senseless attacks.”

   His office has said flags at provincial government buildings will be lowered to half-mast one day for each person killed.

   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said flags will also be lowered at federal government buildings in Saskatchewan and at the Peace Tower in Ottawa.

   “Saskatchewanians and Canadians will do what we always do in times of difficulty and anguish: we’ll be there for each other.”

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2022.

 

–This is a developing story. More details to come.

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