Saskatchewan public schools in ‘hold and secure’ until further notice
Divisions of public schools in Saskatchewan announced on Monday that schools in their network would remain in “hold and secure” until further notice as one of the suspects in the mass stabbing event remains at large.
“As we prepare to welcome students back to the classroom after this Labour Day weekend, we do it with heavy hearts,” the Northwest School Division wrote in a statement on their website.
“With one suspect still at large, we will be hyper vigilant in maintaining the safety of students, teachers and school staff. All schools will be in Hold & Secure until further notice,” the statement read, noting that this will mean that doors into the building will be locked throughout the school day, recess and breaks will be indoors, and guests will not be able to enter the building.
“Again, thank you for your continued partnership with us, as we work to keep our school community safe and aware of this evolving situation,” it closed.
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 18:12
Everything we know about Damien and Myles Sanderson in the deadly attack
Two men are suspected to have carried out a spate of stabbings across Saskatchewan in one of the deadliest mass killings in Canada’s history.
One of the men, Damien Sanderson, was found dead Monday morning near a home that was being examined by police in James Smith Cree Nation as part of the investigation.
The other man, 30-year-old Myles Sanderson, remains at large with police insisting in recent briefings that they’re still working under the assumption that the suspect is somewhere in Regina, where he was reportedly last seen on Sunday morning, despite that intel being now more than a day old.
To get up to speed on everything we know about the two suspects in the Saskatchewan stabbings, read The Independent’s latest explainer:
One of the suspects, Myles Sanderson, 30, was reportedly listed as ’unlawfully at large’ by Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers in May
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 17:45
Memorials, donations and flags at half mast: How communities are remembering victims killed in stabbing spree
Bouquets tucked beneath a solitary tree outside the home of a now dead 77-year-old widower. Flags across Saskatchewan and neighbouring Manitoba at half mast.
These are just some of the tributes and small gestures that people in the prairie provinces of Canada are making as they struggle to come to grips with the terror that ripped through two small tightknit communities on Sunday.
Outside the home of Wes Petterson, 77, are handfuls of bright and colourful sunflowers, whose delight only temporarily masks the horror that unfolded a little more than 48 hours ago when a pair of brothers are suspected to have gone on a stabbing spree that left 10 dead and more than a dozen wounded.
Across the province of Saskatchewan and its neighbour to the east, legislative buildings with Canadian and provincial flags are dipping them down to half-mast in a gesture to commemorate the lives lost and the communities that will forever be torn apart by this tragedy.
“The flags of Canada and Manitoba, located at the entrance of the Legislative Grounds, have been lowered to half mast to honour the victims, their families and all first responders in Saskatchewan, following the ongoing tragic events that took place over the weekend,” wrote Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson on Twitter on Monday night.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald wrote in a statement on Monday that people who have reached out inquiring about where donations for the James Smith Cree Nation can be sent can follow the guidance of the three bands’ leaders.
“Donations of food” and other staple items – like Styrofoam plates, cups, etc – can be dropped off directly at the Bernard Constant Community School, the statement from the JSCN read.
“Please refrain from using e-transfers, instead feel free to bring gift cards or monetary donations to the command centre,” the statement continued.
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 17:25
Police suspect Myles was in Regina with another person on Sunday
Initially, authorities suspected that Myles Sanderson and his brother Damien were spotted in Regina together on Sunday when a report came through at around 11.20 that the black Nissan Rogue that police believe the pair were using to escape was spotted in the city.
On Monday, however, when police discovered the body of Damien close to a house they were examining as part of the ongoing investigation, they changed that hypothesis to suggest that Myles, who remains at large, was in the city with someone else.
“Regina Police Chief Evan Bray on the information they received about the vehicle and two people being spotted in Regina — he says it’s still relevant,” tweeted CBC reporter Sam Maciag on Monday night. “They believe that Myles WAS in Regina yesterday. They do not know who he was with. They also believe he’s still here.”
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 17:01
Four patients remain in critical condition, hospital officials say
Of the 17 people admitted to hospital for treatment after a pair of brothers are suspected to have gone on a deadly stabbing spree throughout communities in northern Saskatchewan, only four have been discharged and sent home as of Monday night.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority confirmed in a statement to CBC Saskatchewan that there were still 13 people being treated at various facilities across the province, and that four of those individuals remained in critical care.
Nine of the people in hospital were in stable condition, the SHA said.
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 16:25
Saskatchewan RCMP issue dangerous persons alert for separate shooting incident
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan issued a dangerous persons alert on Monday morning local time, alerting the public in the Rural Municipality of Britannia to “seek immediate shelter/shelter in place”.
“Dangerous Persons Alert – Maidstone RCMP investigating reports of shots fired at residence in RM of Brittania from a black, newer model Ford Mustang. Same vehicle suspected of shots fired at a residence in Lloydminster, attempted fuel theft in RM of Britannia,” the RCMP Saskatchewan Twitter account tweeted at approximately 7.30am local time.
The Saskatchewan authorities did not provide any further details about the incident, or whether it was related to the ongoing manhunt for the still missing Myles Sanderson.
Brittania, a rural municipality in west-central Saskatchewan, is located about four hours away from the James Smith Cree Nation by car and five-and-a-half hours northwest of Regina, where the suspect was last believed to be seen on Sunday.
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 16:00
Police chief: Working under the assumption suspect somewhere in Regina
In a Monday evening update, Regina police chief Evan Bray said that officers will continue to operate under the assumption that the still-wanted suspect is somewhere in Regina “until we get information that indicates otherwise”.
“So the question now is, where’s Myles?” the chief of police posed in a video shared to his Twitter feed late Monday night.
He acknowledged during the briefing that the information that Myles Sanderson, the remaining alive suspect in the stabbing, was in the Regina area was intel that was “over a day old”, but that law enforcement agencies hadn’t learned anything in the past 24 hours that would lead them to believe he has left the community.
“Report anything that’s unusual,” Chief Bray pleaded in the address, while still warning that the 30-year-old suspect could be armed and dangerous.
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 15:15
ICYMI: Saskatchewan stabbing suspect Damien Sanderson found dead
One of the men suspected to be behind a spree of stabbings in Saskatchewan, Canada that killed 10 people and injured at least 19 has been found dead, Canadian authorities say.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Monday that officers had discovered the body of Damien Sanderson, 31, in a grassy field somewhere in the James Smith Cree Nation, according to Reuters and multiple other outlets.
His brother and fellow suspect Myles Sanderson, 30, remains at large but “may have sustained injures” and may be seeking medical attention, Saskatchewan RCMP commander Rhonda Blackmore said.
Read the full report from my colleague Io Dodds below:
Rhonda Blackmore of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said his body had been found with ‘visible injuries’ in a ‘heavily grassed’ outdoor area
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 14:45
Myles Sanderson had 59 criminal convictions since turning 18, reports
The remaining suspect that police in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba have dedicated resources to locate reportedly had a “lengthy” criminal record, local authorities and news outlets reported Monday.
“Even if he is injured, it does not mean he is not still dangerous,” said Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP on Monday, adding that Myles’ record involved crimes against people and property.
In February of this year, a parole board determined that the 30-year-old would “not present an undue risk,” and freeing him would “contribute to the protection of society” by facilitating his reintegration, Global News reported.
On Monday, police announced that both Sandersons had been issued arrest warrants for their involvement in Sunday’s deadly stabbings.
Parole records obtained by Global News revealed how the young brother, who still remains at large, had accrued nearly two decades of criminal activity, which included drug and alcohol abuse, and associations with gang members and drug dealers.
In sum, since turning 18, Myles has racked up 59 criminal convictions, the news outlet reported.
The parole board considered Myles upbringing and struggles with drugs and alcohol in its February decision, including a stipulation that he must remain sober and seek therapy as part of his release.
According to his parole records, the younger brother spent his childhood bouncing between family members, reportedly leaving various guardians at different times during his youth because of an “abusive environment”.
Psychological records detail how this tumultuous upbringing “created a sense of abandonment and feelings of not being wanted,” which it said played a part in his criminal conduct.
“Considering your Indigenous background, the Board notes that there are factors from your background that may have contributed to your involvement in the criminal justice system,” the Parole Board’s decision read.
Those impacts included the inter-generational trauma from Canada’s residential school system, which a 2015 commission concluded was considered “cultural genocide”, exposure to substance abuse, experiencing domestic violence during childhood, family fragmentation, lack of education, and loss of culture and spirituality, Global News reported.
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 14:10
First responder identified as another victim in mass stabbings
Gloria Burns, 62, was another one of the victims to have died on Sunday, CBC reported. The 62-year-old first responder was killed in James Smith Cree Nation while responding to a crisis call during the stabbing spree, her siblings told the Canadian broadcaster.
In a post shared on Facebook, the son of the 62-year-old wrote how he commemorated his mother’s death by participating in a ceremonial dance after learning of her tragic death.
“My mom was protecting a young man while he was being attacked and she lost her life in the process,” wrote her son. “I cannot explain how I’m feeling at this point but I know it’s just like my mom to protect that young man. She would’ve done the same for any of us and she would’ve done the same for the man who has taken her life,” he added, before noting that she was “an amazing women” who “never held hate against anyone”.
Darryl Burns, the deceased’s brother, said in an interview with Saskatoon Star Phoenix that his sister died doing what she does best: “helping people”.
“I know deep down we need healing and forgiveness. That’s one of the things my sister taught. And that’s one of the things I will carry out in her name,” said Mr Burns, who also worked in counselling and crisis response in the James Smith Cree Nation alongside his sister.
Read more about the victims from the deadly attack in Saskatchewan on Sunday from The Independent below:
‘No one in this town is ever going to sleep again,’ niece of 77-year-old victim says
Johanna Chisholm6 September 2022 13:33