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Police said that stabbing suspect Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead on the James Smith Cree Nation and his brother, Myles Sanderson, 30, "may have sustained injuries" and may be seeking medical attention. Image Credit: Reuters

James Smith Cree Nation, Saskatchewan: Canadian police found one of the suspects in a mass stabbing spree dead on Monday while the other suspect, his brother, remained at large.

The brothers had been suspected of murdering 10 people and wounding 18 in a stabbing rampage that devastated an indigenous community in Saskatchewan on Sunday.

The attacks were among the deadliest in Canada's modern history. Police said some of the victims appeared to have been targeted, while others were apparently random.

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Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson, who are named by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as suspects in stabbings in Canada's Saskatchewan province, are pictured in this undated handout image released by the RCMP September 4, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead on the James Smith Cree Nation and his brother, Myles Sanderson, 30, "may have sustained injuries" and may be seeking medical attention, said Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at a news conference.

With the death of one Sanderson brother and the injury to the other, the casualty count now stood at 11 dead and 19 injured, Blackmore said.

Damien Sanderson's body was found outdoors in a heavily grassy area near a house that was being examined, she said.

"We can confirm he has visible injuries. These injuries are not believed to be self-inflicted at this point," Blackmore said without specifying what caused the injuries.

The stabbings across 13 crime scenes were among the deadliest mass killings in modern Canadian history and certain to reverberate throughout the country, which is unaccustomed to bouts of mass violence more commonly seen in the United States.

Drugs and alcohol blamed

Ivor Wayne Burns of James Smith Cree Nation said three of the victims - his sister Gloria Lydia Burns, a woman and a 14-year-old boy - died at a single location.

However police told a press conference on Monday that the youngest victim was born in 1999.

Gloria Burns, a member of the community's crisis response team, was killed when she attended an emergency call.

"This tragedy that happened here on our land, it's all because of drugs and alcohol," said Burns, adding that the involvement of drugs in the killings was discussed at a community meeting on Monday.

"The drug problem we have here is rampant. It's gone out of control," Burns said.

His comments echoed those on Sunday of Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, who connected the killings with drugs.

Although police have not identified drugs or alcohol as a factor, Burns said the men responsible for the killings are band members and were high at the time of the crimes. Band is a term used to refer to certain First Nations communities in Canada.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “shocked and devastated” by horrific attacks in Saskatchewan

'I'm devastated by the horrific attacks', says Trudeau

"I am shocked and devastated by the horrific attacks today," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. "As Canadians, we mourn with everyone affected by this tragic violence, and with the people of Saskatchewan." Police named the two suspects as Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, providing photos and descriptions but no further details about their motive or the victims.

The two men were seen traveling in a black Nissan Rogue and spotted in the city of Regina, about 320 km (200 miles) south of the attacks in the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon, police said.

"It appears that some of the victims may have been targeted, and some may be random. So to speak to a motive would be extremely difficult at this point in time," Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a news conference.

There may be additional injured victims who transported themselves to various hospitals, police said.

James Smith Cree Nation is an indigenous community with a population of about 3,400 people largely engaged in farming, hunting and fishing. Weldon is a village of some 200 people.

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The stabbings across 13 crime scenes were among the deadliest mass killings in modern Canadian history.

State of emergency

The nation's elected elders declared a state of emergency "in response to the numerous murders and assaults on members of the James Smith Cree Nation," and established two emergency operations centers, the nation said in a statement.

Indigenous people account for less than 5% of Canada's population of about 38 million and suffer from higher levels of poverty, unemployment and a lower life expectancy than other Canadians.

Trudeau said his government had been in direct communication with the James Smith Cree Nation leadership, adding, "We are ready to assist in any way we can." The first stabbings were reported at 5:40 a.m. (1140 GMT) and within three hours police issued a province-wide dangerous persons alert. By the afternoon, similar alerts were also issued in Saskatchewan's neighboring provinces Alberta and Manitoba.