Advertisement

Saskatchewan stabbings: Mother of two, first responder among those killed

Click to play video: '‘Why would you come in and kill an innocent person?’ Saskatchewan communities grieve mass stabbing victims'
‘Why would you come in and kill an innocent person?’ Saskatchewan communities grieve mass stabbing victims
WATCH: Saskatchewan communities grieve mass stabbing victims – Sep 5, 2022

A mother of two, a 77-year-old widower and a first responder were the initial victims identified in a stabbing spree in Saskatchewan that killed 10 people and wounded at least 18 others.

RCMP in Regina said on Monday afternoon they found one of the suspects in the mass stabbing spree dead while the other suspect, his brother, remained at large.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan stabbings: Regina police ‘operating under the impression’ suspect still in city'
Saskatchewan stabbings: Regina police ‘operating under the impression’ suspect still in city

Police are still trying to determine a motive for Sunday’s attacks, mostly in a sparsely populated Indigenous community, that shocked a country where mass violence is rare.

Story continues below advertisement

The incidents took place in the James Smith Cree Nation and village of Weldon north of Saskatoon, police said.

Read more: Saskatchewan stabbings: What happened throughout 4-day-long manhunt

Damien Sanderson’s body was found Monday morning at a location on the first nation with injuries not believed to be self-inflicted, officials said.

His brother, Myles Sanderson, may be injured but is still considered armed and dangerous, and faces multiple charges in connection to the attacks.

Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks during a press conference at RCMP “F” Division Headquarters in Regina on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. Michael Bell, The Canadian Press

Hours before the stabbings, Lana Head, a mother of two daughters, posted on Facebook that she had “so many good memories to cherish.”

Head’s friends and family were shocked by her death and paid tributes on social media. “Not the way I wanted her to leave this world,” said Melodie Whitecap, Head’s childhood friend who had planned to visit her before the stabbing.

Story continues below advertisement
A police forensics team investigates a crime scene after multiple people were killed and injured in a stabbing spree in Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada. September 4, 2022. David Stobbe, Reuters

Head’s former partner also spoke to local media and implied the stabbings might have been related to drugs and alcohol.

“It’s sick how jail time, drugs and alcohol can destroy many lives,” Michael Brett Burns, Head’s former partner, told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan stabbings: RCMP confirm 1 suspect found dead, other still at large'
Saskatchewan stabbings: RCMP confirm 1 suspect found dead, other still at large

A statement by Indigenous leaders also indicated the attacks might have been drug related.

Story continues below advertisement

Ivor Burns and Darryl Burns from the James Smith Cree Nation told Reuters their sister, Gloria, was among the dead. They blamed drugs and alcohol as well.

A person holds a phone showing a photo of Gloria Lydia Burns, 62, who was killed on James Smith Cree Nation after a stabbing spree killed 10 people on the reserve and nearby town of Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada. September 5, 2022. David Stobbe, Reuters

“We have 10 people dead, including my sister. She was butchered … with her friend and a 14-year-old boy, all three of them,” Ivor Burns said in an interview.

However police told a news conference on Monday that the youngest victim was born in 1999.

Gloria was a first responder, who went to a crisis call, and died after being caught up in the violence, Darryl Burns said.

Police had not identified a motive but noted “it appears that some of the victims may have been targeted, and some may be random.”

Annie Sanderson comforts her granddaughter, who was close with Gloria Lydia Burns, 62, who was killed on James Smith Cree Nation after a stabbing spree killed 10 people on the reserve and nearby town of Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada. September 5, 2022. David Stobbe, Reuters

An online fundraiser was launched to pay funeral, rehabilitation and counseling expenses for victims and their families.

Story continues below advertisement

Residents in the village of Weldon in Saskatchewan identified one of the victims in the community as Wes Petterson, a 77-year-old widower.

Read more: Weldon residents remember Wes Petterson, one of Saskatchewan’s stabbing victims

“He was just a lovely man,” said Doreen Lees, 89, of Weldon.

James Smith Cree Nation is an indigenous community with a population of about 3,400 people largely engaged in farming, hunting and fishing.

Weldon is a village of some 200 people.

The moon rises behind a grain elevator as police conducted a manhunt, after multiple people were killed and injured in a stabbing spree in Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada. September 4, 2022. David Stobbe, Reuters

Sponsored content