Friday, October 7, 2022

Canada hunts suspects in stabbing spree that killed 10, wounded 15

Canada hunts suspects in stabbing spree that killed 10, wounded 15

WELDON, Saskatchewan (Reuters) - Canadian police hunted for two suspects in a stabbing spree that killed 10 people and wounded at least 15 others mostly in a sparsely populated indigenous community early Sunday.

The stabbings across 13 crime scenes were among the deadliest mass killings in modern Canadian history and certain to reverberate throughout the country, which is unaccustomed to bouts of mass violence more commonly seen in the United States.

"I am shocked and devastated by the horrific attacks today," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. "As Canadians, we mourn with everyone affected by this tragic violence, and with the people of Saskatchewan."

Police named the two suspects as Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, providing photos and descriptions but no further details about their motive or the victims.

A statement by indigenous leaders indicated the attacks may have been drug related.

"This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities," said Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. The group represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

A mother of two was among the 10 people killed, local media reported, citing the woman's former partner.

"It's sick how jail time, drugs and alcohol can destroy many lives," Michael Brett Burns told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

In May, Myles Sanderson was listed as "unlawfully at large" by Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers, a program that encourages the public to cooperate with police. There were no further details about why he was wanted.

The two men were seen traveling in a black Nissan Rogue and spotted in the city of Regina, about 320 km (200 miles) south of the attacks in the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon, police said.

"It appears that some of the victims may have been targeted, and some may be random. So to speak to a motive would be extremely difficult at this point in time," Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a news conference.

There may be additional injured victims who transported themselves to various hospitals, police said.