RCMP say Sask. mass killing suspect not on James Smith Cree Nation, search continues

Police are continuing to search for one of two suspects accused of murder in connection with the mass stabbing that left 10 people dead and 18 injured in the area of James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon, Sask.

Residents told to stay indoors earlier Tuesday after possible sighting

A police officer stands near an RCMP vehicle. The officer is speaking to another person, who is sitting on an ATV.

RCMP say they've determined that mass killing suspect Myles Sanderson is not located at James Smith Cree Nation.

Authorities say his location is still unknown and are urging the public to remain cautious.

Earlier Tuesday, RCMP sent an alert telling residents of James Smith Cree Nation to shelter in place after a report of a possible sighting of Myles.

Sources tell CBC there was a heavy police presence on the reserve as police continued to search for Sanderson, 32, who is accused of murder along with his deceased brother, Damien Sanderson, 31, in connection with the mass stabbing that left 10 people dead and 18 injured in the area of James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon, Sask.

Those tallies do not include the suspects.

Kirby Constant, a James Smith member living in Prince Albert, told CBC News a community meeting was held on the reserve at 11 a.m. CST Tuesday.

Police at the meeting rushed out shortly before the public alert notifying residents to shelter in place had been issued.

Earlier in the investigation, police believed the suspect might have been in Regina.

Police had received a report Sunday that the vehicle the suspect was believed to be driving — a black Nissan Rogue with licence plate 119 MPI — had been spotted in Regina.

Damien Sanderson was found dead Monday with wounds that did not seem self-inflicted, according to RCMP.

  • WATCH | Former Mountie says police investigating murders must cast a wider net to find chief suspect

Death of Damien Sanderson changes Saskatchewan police investigation, says former Mountie

7 hours ago

Duration 8:57

Police investigating murders in rural Saskatchewan must cast a wider net to find Myles Sanderson because he may be getting help, says former RCMP officer Sherry Benson-Podolchuk.Police from Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba were searching for the Sandersons after the attacks sparked a dangerous persons alert Sunday morning.

Myles Sanderson is facing three counts of first-degree murder, as well as attempted murder and break and enter.

Police say he may have sustained injuries, though it hasn't been confirmed.

Before he was the subject of a multi-provincial search, Crime Stoppers had issued an alert for Myles who was considered unlawfully at large.

Parole Board of Canada documents show that over two decades he amassed 59 convictions for crimes including assault, assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer, uttering threats and robbery.

He was given a lifetime prohibited weapons ban because of his violent behaviour.

CBC News confirmed Tuesday that Earl Burns Sr., a veteran, is among the deceased.

The Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association sent its condolences to the Burns family following his death.

On Monday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said the hospitals were no longer in a Code Orange, which was announced Sunday following the influx of critical patients from the stabbing rampage.

It also said there were 13 patients still in hospital, including four in critical condition and nine in stable condition. Four have been discharged.

James Smith Cree Nation asking for donations

The James Smith Cree Nation and sister First Nation communities are asking for food and monetary donations in the wake of the mass stabbing.

In an open letter being shared on social media, the Cree Nation, alongside chiefs and council from Peter Chapman Band and Chakastaypasin Band, have asked for food, money and disposable dishware and cutlery.

The group of First Nation communities declared a state of emergency on noon Sunday.

Donations for the Cree Nation can be delivered to the Bernard Constant Community School gymnasium.

It asked any monetary donations to be given as gift cards, cheques or cash and that donations would be logged.

Indigenous Services Canada said it will be supporting James Smith in a variety of ways identified by the Cree Nation, including mental health counselling, funeral costs for victims and supports for people displaced by the attacks, such as accommodation, meals and other essential needs.

Community feeling a flurry of emotions

Richard Brittain, a James Smith Cree Nation community member, told CBC he's feeling better Tuesday after a flurry of emotions over the past couple days including sadness, grief, anger and blame.

"Everybody in our community is feeling the same way as I am," he said "The people that we have lost are all family to me in some way. A lot of the victims that are in hospital are my friends."

Brittain said he received a message from a family member on Sunday morning, leading him to drive to the community where he found "loved ones laying lifeless in my community."

"I couldn't believe that this was actually happening in our community. My community is usually a safe, connected place," he said. "To wake up and see all this horrific stuff that has happened in our community is just, it's unbelievable."

He said it's going to take awhile for community members to forget those grim images and sleep well again.

On Tuesday afternoon, Premier Scott Moe, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and other chiefs held two moments of silence for the victims during the grand opening of a sports complex at Big River First Nation, 120 kilometres northwest of Prince Albert.

"I trust that the RCMP, the relevant law authorities will catch [Myles Sanderson] sooner rather than later," Moe told reporters. "And then we can focus on the community and focus on healing as a province."

Universities, schools change operations

The University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon said in a statement Monday it would be postponing some large campus gatherings, including some Welcome Week events scheduled for Tuesday, "out of respect for these communities and for the fact that the situation remains an emergency."

It said it would be offering support to students, staff and faculty with connections to James Smith Cree Nation as well as opening the doors to the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre as a "safe gathering place" for campus community.

The tragic acts of violence this past weekend at James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon will have a profound impact on our province and our country.<a href="https://t.co/nnpzVSFhB1">https://t.co/nnpzVSFhB1</a>


The University of Regina said in an email Tuesday that it's upped security on campus and has ensured dormitory doors are only accessible through a keyed entrance.

The two dozen schools in Saskatchewan's Northwest School Division were on "hold and secure," director of education Duane Haulk said in an email: "With one suspect still at large, we will be hyper vigilant in maintaining the safety of students, teachers and school staff."

Later Tuesday, the school board ended its hold-and-secure precaution and is resuming operations as normal.

Both the Catholic and public school boards in Saskatoon are operating as usual with supports for those affected.

The Regina Public School Board said it is taking steps to "ensure that our school safety procedures are followed," but added Regina police don't believe there is a reason to alter operations.

Both universities and the school boards offered their condolences and prayers in their statements and emails to those affected.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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