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Mounties to give update on deadly stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan

Mounties are scheduled to give an update today about what happened during a deadly mass stabbing in Saskatchewan last year.
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Mounties are scheduled to give an update today about what happened during a deadly mass stabbing in Saskatchewan last year.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore previously committed to sharing a preliminary timeline of the rampage.

Eleven people were killed and 18 were injured on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon on Sept. 4.

Myles Sanderson, the 32-year-old accused in the attacks, died in police custody a few days later.

RCMP expect the latest update to take four hours and say it will include comments from Blackmore, as well as the officer in charge of major crimes in Saskatchewan.

Mounties say it won’t affect two coroner’s inquests set for early next year.

One of the inquests is to focus on the killings, while the other is to look at the suspect. Police have said Sanderson went into medical distress shortly after he was arrested near Rosthern, Sask.

An independent investigation is also being conducted by Saskatoon police and the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team.

Mounties have previously released some details about the deadly rampage.

The stabbings began early on the morning of Sept. 4 on the First Nation, about 170 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. Four dangerous persons alerts were released before 10 a.m. saying there had been multiple victims and giving descriptions of the suspects and the vehicle in which they were believed to be travelling.

Later that day, Mounties announced multiple people had died or were injured in the attacks, which took place across 13 locations.

Sanderson’s brother, who was originally a suspect, was found dead on the First Nation the next day. Police later said his wounds were not self-inflicted.

The province was on edge and police remained on the lookout for days, with sightings of Sanderson reported in Regina and back on the First Nation.

By Sept. 7, there was a break in the case. A 911 call came from the town of Wakaw, about 110 kilometres southwest of the First Nation, about a stolen white truck. Police vehicles sped down rural roads in the area and a helicopter hovered overhead.

The suspect vehicle hit a ditch and drove into trees along the highway near Rosthern. Sanderson was taken into police custody but went into medical distress shortly after and died.

The stabbings have amplified calls for more Indigenous-led policing. In response, federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino signed an agreement with the Prince Albert Grand Council, which includes James Smith Cree Nation, to explore new ways to improve safety on some First Nations in the province.

James Smith Cree Nation Chief Wally Burns has previously called for all levels of government to support the community in establishing its own police force.