A manhunt is underway for one of two brothers suspected in a mass stabbing that left 10 dead and 18 injured across multiple locations in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The attacks on Sunday — which rattled the Canadian nation and put the province of Saskatchewan on edge — spanned 13 crime scenes in an Indigenous community and a nearby rural village, according to authorities.
Less than three hours after the first attack was reported, authorities identified the suspects as brothers Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson.
On Monday morning, Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead on the James Smith Cree Nation in a “heavily grassed area” near a house, police said.
His injuries were not believed to be self-inflicted, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, adding that the exact cause of death would be determined by the Saskatchewan coroner’s office.
His 30-year-old brother is still at large and considered “armed and dangerous,” Blackmore said. The man has a “lengthy criminal record” and had warrants out for his arrest before the stabbings, she said.
Police warned that Myles Sanderson may also be injured and might try to seek medical attention, but did not provide further details on why they believe he might be hurt.
“We do have strong reason to believe that he has sustained some injuries. We’re not exactly sure what those injuries are,” Blackmore said.
Although still at large, Myles Sanderson was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and breaking and entering into a residence.
One of the victims was identified as Gloria Burns, a first responder, according to Reuters. She was responding to a crisis call when she was caught up in the violence and killed, her brother Darryl Burns told Reuters, though the agency didn’t say if the call was related to the stabbings.
“She was butchered,” her brother Ivor Burns said to Reuters.
Police believe suspect was in the city of Regina
The suspects were believed to be traveling in a black Nissan Rogue with a Saskatchewan license plate that was reported seen with two people inside on Sunday in Regina, a city more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the James Smith Cree Nation, according to police.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said that while the lead on the car was already “stale,” it remained the most recent reliable information police had and “we are still operating under the impression that Myles is in the city of Regina.”
The vehicle still hadn’t been found and Bray said it’s unknown who else was in the car if it wasn’t Damien.
“Is it possible that they’re no longer in this community? It is possible but we don’t have any information to disprove or point us either way,” Bray said.
Blackmore said police haven’t established a motive for the attacks, and there’s still no word on the type of weapon that was used. “It takes a significant amount of resources to process 13 crime scenes,” she said.
“There’s a lot of anxiety in our province right now in our communities and throughout the country,” Bray said. “And so we need to start the healing process and until we can make this arrest that isn’t going to happen.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the stabbings “horrific and heartbreaking.”
“I am shocked and devastated by the horrific attacks today in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan, that claimed the lives of 10 people and injured many more,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Few details have been released about the brothers. Myles Sanderson, who remains at large, stands about 6 foot 1 inch tall and weighs 240 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
It remains unclear if he was involved in the death of Damien Sanderson, according to police.
“It is an investigative avenue that we are following up on, but we can’t say that definitively at this point,” Blackmore said.
How the attacks unfolded
Investigators on Monday were trying to piece together the order in which the attacks took place. Blackmore said the stabbings didn’t necessarily happen in the order that the calls came in and it’s unclear if the brothers are suspected of carrying out the attacks at the same time.
The first stabbing was reported on the James Smith Cree Nation at 5:40 a.m. local time, and several more calls came in minutes later about stabbings at other locations, police said.
The James Smith Cree Nation has a population of around 3,400 people with about 1,800 members who live on the reservation, according to its website.
By 9:45 a.m., authorities reported victims in multiple locations, including one in the village of Weldon, and that some victims may have been attacked randomly.
In total, 28 people were wounded, including 10 who died.
Helicopter crews took some victims to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon while others were brought to local hospitals by ground ambulances. Police said there may be additional injured people who took themselves to the various hospitals.
The victims included men and women in different age groups, some of whom were apparently targeted while others may have been attacked randomly, according to Blackmore.
Police have not released information on victims’ conditions and identities, but said the youngest was in their early 20s.
About three hours after the first stabbing was reported, authorities identified the suspects as the Sanderson brothers and told the public that they were driving the black Nissan Rogue SUV.
Around noon, an alert was sent out reporting that the suspect vehicle had been seen by a driver on Arcola Avenue in Regina and told the public in Regina to shelter in place.
It wasn’t until the next morning that Damien Sanderson was found dead.
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