‘There’s a lot of anxiety,’ as suspects in Saskatchewan stabbings evade police manhunt – POLITICO

“It’s horrific what has occurred in our province,” Rhonda Blackmore of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Sunday as she shared unfolding details.

At 5:40 a.m. local time Sunday, the RCMP picked up a call about a stabbing on the James Smith Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan. Within minutes there were more calls to the Saskatchewan RCMP Divisional Operational Communications Center with news of more stabbings across the community, Blackmore said.

Blackmore, commanding officer of Saskatchewan RCMP, said police were investigating 10 deaths in 13 locations on James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby community of Weldon, about a three-hour drive north of Regina. At least 15 more victims had been sent to hospitals, she added as she chronicled police action after the discovery of the carnage.

Ninety minutes after the first call, police issued a Dangerous Persons Alert to the James Smith Cree Nation and neighboring communities advising residents to shelter in place.

At 7:57 a.m., RCMP sent a second update with details of the suspects — an alert blasted to the province of 1.1 million people about 20 minutes later.

At 9:45 a.m., a new bulletin warned of random attacks and multiple victims.

More than six hours after news of the first stabbing, the RCMP issued one more bulletin after a report of the suspects in Regina in a black Nissan SUV. People in the capital of 226,000 were urged to take precautions and shelter in place: “DO NOT APPROACH.”

Later that day in Regina, a sold-out crowd was due at Mosaic Stadium, where the Saskatchewan Roughriders would take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League’s annual Labour Day Classic. The team issued a statement touting beefed-up security.

RCMP forces in neighboring provinces of Manitoba and Alberta were advised to extend the Dangerous Persons Alert to their provinces.

On Sunday evening Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe offered his condolences on Twitter.

“There are no words to adequately describe the pain and loss caused by this senseless violence,” he said. “All of Saskatchewan grieves with the victims and their families.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attacks horrific and heartbreaking.

“I’m thinking of those who have lost a loved one and of those who were injured,” he said in a statement on social media.

“We are closely monitoring the situation, and urge everyone to follow updates from local authorities. Thank you to all the brave first responders for their efforts on the ground.”