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Albertans shocked by ‘unthinkable violence’ of Saskatchewan killings

Click to play video: 'Alberta Premier Jason Kenney offers condolences to those affected by Saskatchewan stabbings'
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney offers condolences to those affected by Saskatchewan stabbings
WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney offers condolences to friends and families of the Saskatchewan stabbing victims while also saying he has reached out to Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to offer assistance – Sep 6, 2022

The impact and grief connected to a stabbing spree, one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history, is being felt in the neighbouring province of Alberta.

At least 11 people were killed and 19 others were injured after a series of deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan on Sunday. Those numbers include the two suspects, one of whom was found dead, while the other believed to be hurt, RCMP officials said Monday. The second suspect is still at large.

The stabbings occurred at 13 locations in two villages north of Saskatoon in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.

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“I grew up in a small Saskatchewan community and I can’t even imagine how devastating and traumatizing this must be for all those affected,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday, describing the stabbing spree as “unthinkable violence.”

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He asked anyone with information to report it to police immediately.

According to Alberta RCMP, officers were sent to Saskatchewan to help Sunday. A large number of Special Tactical Operations officers were deployed from all over the province and members from the Major Crimes Unit were sent to help with the investigation.

“I reached out to Premier Scott Moe to offer any assistance the Alberta government can provide,” Kenney said. “I made a general offer … He hasn’t indicated any particular needs but we stand ready.”

Kenney said Alberta RCMP will also stay in close contact with Saskatchewan RCMP and will offer “additional personnel as needed.”

Click to play video: '‘A jarring event’: Calgary mayor reacts to Saskatchewan stabbings'
‘A jarring event’: Calgary mayor reacts to Saskatchewan stabbings

“I think all of us were completely shocked by the events that unfolded in Saskatchewan over the weekend,” Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said.

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“There’s a lot of people who said the emergency alert was jarring. Yes, it was, but it’s also a jarring event. We have to be aware that there are people in shock right now, people who have lost loved ones.

“I would encourage anyone that has any information about any of this – immediately go to the police services and let them know what you’ve seen or heard,” Gondek said.

“And please, let’s just stick together with each other and take care of those around us who are really in a state of shock and just reeling from this right now.”

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Kenney said flags at the Alberta legislature and McDougall Centre will be lowered to half mast in solidarity “with the people of Saskatchewan who mourn this immense loss of innocent life.”

“The brutality and apparent randomness of these attacks have shocked the entire country. Albertans stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends in Saskatchewan in their grief.

“My heart also goes out to the people of the James Smith Cree Nation and to First Nations communities across Canada who feel the anger and sorrow of this tragedy in a deeper and far more personal way,” Kenney said.

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Gondek said Tuesday that Calgary was prepared to lower the flag at City Hall as well.

Police say they are still searching for one of two suspects in Sunday’s deadly stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan.

They say 30-year-old Myles Sanderson may be injured, adding he is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Read more: Saskatchewan RCMP confirm one of two stabbing spree suspects deceased

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The body of the other suspect, 31-year-old Damian Sanderson, was discovered outdoors in a grassy area on the James Smith Cree Nation on Monday, not far from one of the crime scenes.

Police have said little about Sanderson, except that he had a significant criminal record, was last seen in Regina and was wanted on an arrest warrant for three counts of first-degree murder following Sunday’s stabbings.

But his parole records recount almost two decades of crime, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, and associations with gang members, pimps and drug dealers.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon supporting communities affected by the mass stabbing incident'
Saskatoon supporting communities affected by the mass stabbing incident

The news hit home for Siksika Nation Band Councillor Reuben “Buck” Breaker.

“When I heard of this event, I really couldn’t help but think about the sad cycles that some of our men are in,” said Breaker, who’s also a certified addictions counsellor and has his own personal history with addiction.

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“When our grandfathers, grandmothers, mothers and fathers are getting abused mentally, physically, sexually, it was in their blood at a young age to be scared, not to talk, not to express emotion, and then later, to be angry, to learn hate, unforgiveness. All these traits are all part of the intergenerational trauma — a cycle that’s prevalent in a lot of our communities.”

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Having treatment and support programs available as soon as people express willingness to recover would help, Breaker says.

“How we break it (the cycle), as each community, we have to have programs and services ready for those who make up their mind and want to change.

“Running addictions for the nation, I only had X number of dollars to work with to send people to treatment… We had a three months to six months waiting list. I had a couple situations where I lost members of our community to suicide or cirrhosis while waiting for that bed to open.

“We have shelters for our women, we’re working on shelters, safe homes… but for men, we don’t have enough programs and services for men. I’m not trying to disregard the females but males need to heal,” he said.

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“It would be nice to have some ongoing programs for males that isn’t 30 days and that’s it. Everybody needs to heal one day at a time.”

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan RCMP confirms one of two suspects in stabbings found dead'
Saskatchewan RCMP confirms one of two suspects in stabbings found dead

The killings have garnered worldwide attention and have prompted statements from high-profile officials outside of Canada, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and the presidents of Iceland and Hungary.

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