Monday 5 September 2022

A horrible, no good, very bad day - update

 Most of my readers will have heard the news from my province of Saskatchewan yesterday as it has been reported worldwide. In brief, two young men went on a killing spree, leaving ten dead and at least fifteen injured in their wake. It appears that the incidents began at the James Smith Cree Nation and later in the small community of Weldon, Saskatchewan.

In the course of their horrific actions, they stole a vehicle and drove south, eventually arriving in the city of Regina (where I live). The RCMP reported the vehicle had been spotted in the city and the local police have been involved in the search for the two individuals. This included an air search involving the RCMP aircraft. 

There has been, as is appropriate, a lot of attention on the identities of the suspects. Photos of the two have been circulated, including what appears to be police booking photos, and personal photos shared by those I assume to be family or friends. At this point they have not been apprehended. IMO they are holed up somewhere and it is a matter of time before they bolt or are located. 

However, local main stream media has been less attentive to those who were the victims of this tragedy. I've linked an article from APTN news reporting on three of the victims (two are named). Two of these individuals were a couple and lived on the reserve, while the third was an elderly widower who lived in Weldon. The RCMP have stated that some of the victims while others were random. Now their lives and names have been forever entwined. 

My heart goes out to all who have been affected: the victims who remain in hospital, the families who have lost loved ones, and to the communities who will bear the scars of this horrible tragedy. I am grateful for the first responders and the healthcare workers who cared for the victims, to the RCMP and the local authorities who have and continue to search for the perpetrators, and finally to all who have offered their support. 

In time, I hope that the communities will be provided with the necessary supports to begin to recover and heal. As this falls under the jurisdiction of the province, it will be up to our current ministries to step up to the plate. Unfortunately, like so many other provinces, health care and especially mental health care supports are limited and often hard to access especially in rural communities. This is the case even in a community where a similar tragedy took place. Over six years ago, in La Loche, four people were killed and seven injured when a teenager went on a shooting spree. Today, there are no permanent mental health support personnel in the community, with a psychiatrist flying in once a month. That is simply not enough.

We may never know why this happened and I chose not to speculate. For now, I grieve for what might have been. 


Late this afternoon (Sept 5) the RCMP held a news conference to advise that one of the suspects Damien Sanderson, 31, was located deceased near one of the 13 locations. According to the report, the wounds did not appear to be self-inflicted, however an autopsy will be completed to confirm cause of death.

His brother Myles is believed to be injured, and may seek medical attention. He is still at large and efforts continue to locate him.

I also want to correct a possible misconception from my post in reference to the mental health supports I believe will be needed in these communities. These supports would be meant for the survivors: the victims and their families. I cannot envision how anyone could have been affected by this tragic event without suffering PTSD as a result. While I am certain there will be grief counsellors present (and are likely already in place), these impacts will be felt for years to come. I hope that clarifies my position.


  1. I was so saddened to hear about this.

  2. I heard this earlier today, am beyond words. I hope the authorities will be able to apprehend them without injury to anyone else. 🙏

  3. It is time to look past the numbers and provide the supports needed to help those affected and to prevent other such tragedies. Those are tall orders with the state of health care, especially mental health care as you said.

  4. I'm so sad to hear of this. I might sound terrible but IF mental health is the cause, (it may not be, there is evil or there), after killing so many i do not believe in utilizing valuable personnel and funds towards 'aiding' the perpetrators once they are apprehended. Criminals are criminals and should suffer the consequences. Sorry for being blunt. It is a very scary situation for all residents.

  5. I hadn't heard about it (consumed by the fire news here) so I looked it up and yes, that is scary. I hope this gets resolved soon. So sad for all those innocent lives...What a world we live in anymore...

  6. We were so shocked and saddened to hear of this. We will keep everyone in the two affected communities in our prayers.

  7. Such tragedy. It must be scary for residents.

  8. I had heard the dreadful accounts and wondered if it were near you. I had no idea just how near.
    I hope they catch him soon so you can all feel a bit more safe. What a world we have become.

  9. I heard the news and thought of you. Senseless murders...there was one in a wheat field in North Dakota also on Aug 29 and four are dead. So sad:(


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