Saskatchewan RCMP have provided an update regarding the ongoing investigation of the mass casualties that occurred on the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon communities in September.
An Oct. 6 press release stated investigators have looking at the “events and interactions” that led up to the mass stabbing. The full Saskatchewan RCMP press release can be read here:
The Saskatchewan RCMP received over 4600 calls between Sept. 3 and Sept. 8 regarding this case, the investigation is still ongoing.
However, Saskatchewan RCMP have compiled a timeline of what is currently known to police about the activities of Damien Sanderson in the hours before the attacks.
On Saturday, September 3rd, 2022, at approximately 4 a.m., Melfort RCMP received a report that Damien Sanderson stole a vehicle on the James Smith Cree Nation.
The caller explicitly requested multiple times during the initial and follow-up calls that they wanted to remain anonymous and at approximately 4:15 a.m., two officers from the Melfort RCMP detachment responded to the call.
These officers confirmed Damien had a warrant for his arrest for a previous assault. They contacted the caller, who declined to provide an initial statement to police or to provide any further details about the stolen vehicle.
The officers attempted to locate Damien and the stolen vehicle by conducting patrols throughout James Smith Cree Nation.
“Officers contacted the caller a second time, to see if they would know of any other locations where Damien may be. The caller suggested police search for the vehicle on North Road on James Smith Cree Nation.
Officers immediately went to search the area and located the vehicle parked in front of a residence on North Road. The vehicle was empty, the windows were down, and the keys were missing. The officers confirmed the vehicle belonged to the caller by the license plate.”
Although the stolen vehicle was located, Damien was nowhere to be found. Witnesses in the area were interviewed, but none had seen Damien.
A nearby residence was searched with the consent of the homeowner, and inside were around 7 individuals, 3 of whom were male. The males in the home were asked to identify themselves. None of them identified as being Damien Sanderson.
Through follow-up statements during the investigation, it was later confirmed Damien provided a false name to the responding officers during the search of the residence.
Saskatchewan RCMP stated that there were never any threats of violence or any mention of Myles Sanderson in the original 911 call that took place Sept. 3rd.
“The Saskatchewan RCMP had no information or indication that would suggest any violence was to occur.
The events that were going to unfold the next day were unknown to police at the time.”
Although the investigation is still ongoing, investigators have been able to determine the following information:
- Myles and Damien Sanderson were selling drugs in the community on September 3rd.
- Myles and Damien had been involved in at least three violent altercations involving other individuals in the James Smith Cree Nation, none were reported to police
- According to evidence collected so far, Damien was involved in the original “planning and preparation” for the attacks on September 4th
However, police have determined that Myles Sanderson committed all the murders alone, and that Damien Sanderson was also a victim of homicide at the hands of Myles Sanderson.
“Based on the large quantity of information, it will take months to provide a full timeline of all the events that took place prior to and following September 4th.
The RCMP Major Crimes Unit is currently reviewing all the evidence to piece together a comprehensive timeline to provide an accurate picture of the events – which we remain committed to sharing with the public once it’s complete.”