Suspect in Sask. stabbing not on James Smith Cree Nation, still at large

Police in Saskatchewan say a report of a possible sighting of Myles Sanderson on James Smith Cree Nation has not checked out and the suspect in a series of stabbing attacks is still at large.

Earlier Tuesday, RCMP issued an update to its dangerous persons alert which said investigators had received reports of a possible sighting of Sanderson in the community. Residents were instructed 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. RCMP believe he could be injured and may attempt to seek medical attention.

POSSIBLE ENCOUNTER WITH SUSPECT

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.

On Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said out of 17 individuals with injuries related to the stabbing, 10 remain in-hospital.

“Three patients are in critical condition, seven are in stable condition and, since Sunday, seven individuals have been discharged,” the SHA statement said.

Sunday morning, the SHA moved into a “code orange” process for accepting a high number of critical patients. 

A similar measure was taken in response to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018 that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

“Along with continuing to provide medical care required for those affected, the SHA is working on deployment of mental health resources to families, communities, physicians and staff impacted,” the SHA said.

INTERNATIONAL REACTION

Reaction continued to pour in following the tragedy which has made international headlines.

On Tuesday White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre commented on the stabbing spree, calling it “senseless.” 

“We stand with Canada, our ally and neighbor and all those affected by this tragedy and condemn this senseless violence,” Jean-Pierre said. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also expressed their condolences.

“The attacks at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan are truly heart-breaking,” said a tweet from Prince William and Kate Middleton’s joint account.

“Catherine and I send our best wishes to the people of Canada.”

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

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