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HomeNewsPoliticsManhunt underway after stabbing spree in Canada (Update) – HotAir

Manhunt underway after stabbing spree in Canada (Update) – HotAir


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Sunday two suspects went on a killing spree in a small town in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, killing at least 10 people and injuring about 15 more. The attack happened on a small Indigenous reservation that is home to the James Smith Cree Nation. It has a population of about 2,500 people. The violence also spread to a nearby town called Weldon which has a population of fewer than 200. The two suspects have been identified but have not been caught but were spotted in a city 200 miles south from where the attack took place.

The suspects, identified by police as Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, remained at large Monday morning, more than 24 hours after authorities received the first reports about 5:40 a.m. local time Sunday of people being stabbed at the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon.

“Unfortunately the two males are still at large, this despite ongoing, relentless efforts through the night by both the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and the Regina Police Service to locate these two individuals,” Evan Bray, the provincial capital’s police chief, said in a video Monday morning…

The men were believed t0 be traveling in a black Nissan Rogue crossover SUV after being spotted in Regina, about 200 miles to the south, shortly before midday Sunday, authorities said. They later said that the men may have changed their vehicle, and that their direction of travel was unknown.

The obvious question about the motive is one that police aren’t saying anything about so far. However the AP is reporting one Indigenous leader suggested it was connected to drugs.

Authorities have said some of the victims were targeted and others appeared to have been chosen at random in a series of attacks on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the town of Weldon in Saskatchewan province. They have given no motive for the crimes, which also left 15 people wounded — but a senior Indigenous leader suggested drugs were somehow involved…

“It is horrific what has occurred in our province,” said Rhonda Blackmore, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan.

Police got their first call about a stabbing at 5:40 a.m. on Sunday, and within minutes heard about several more. In all, dead or wounded people were found at 13 different locations on the sparsely populated reserve and in the town, Blackmore said. James Smith Cree Nation is about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Weldon.

She couldn’t provide a motive, but the chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations suggested the stabbings could be drug-related.

“This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we demand all authorities to take direction from the chiefs and councils and their membership to create safer and healthier communities for our people,” said Chief Bobby Cameron.

We’ll have to wait for more information but the drug connection doesn’t make a lot of sense to me so far. Rival drug gangs might be inclined to attack and kill the competition but would have no reason to kill people at random. And having one person using drugs go crazy and kill people is a possibility but in this case it was two people working together.

The NY Times isn’t offering any clear statements about the suspect’s motive but does note that violence against indigenous people has been a major topic in Canada for the last few years.

Canada’s Indigenous communities have been at the forefront of a global reckoning of the abuse and assimilation brought about by colonialism. Their decades-long movement has received heightened attention in recent years, partly because of grim new discoveries about the extent of violence and discrimination.

Last year, an Indigenous community announced that it had found a suspected mass grave at a former residential school in British Columbia, where it said there was evidence of 215 children having been buried. The church-run school was part of a system designed to assimilate the children, forcibly erasing their Indigenous languages and cultures.

Other discoveries followed. In the province of Saskatchewan, the suspected remains of 751 people, mostly Indigenous children, were found at the site of another former boarding school…

Pope Francis visited Canada in July, making a direct apology for the church-run schools. “I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” he told a gathering made up largely of Indigenous people in Alberta near the site of a former school.

To be clear, I don’t see any news outlet suggesting that has anything to do with these attacks but the Times seems to be framing this as part of a larger narrative.

I’ll try to update this post later in the day if the suspects are caught.

Update: Still not caught but the number of injured has been updated.

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