Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks during a press conference at RCMP "F" Division Headquarters in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Sunday. AP
The stabbings took place in multiple locations on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the village of Weldon, northeast of Saskatoon, police said.
Rhonda Blackmore, the Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP Saskatchewan, said some of the victims appear to have been targeted by the suspects but others appear to have been attacked at random. She couldn't provide a motive.
"It is horrific what has occurred in our province today,â€ Blackmore said, adding there were 13 crime scenes where either deceased or injured people were found.
It is among the deadliest mass killings in Canadian history. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020 when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people. A man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto in 2019. But mass killings are less common in Canada than in the United States.
A police forensics team investigates a crime scene in Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada, on Sunday. Reuters
Blackmore said police began receiving reports before 6 a.m. of stabbings on the First Nation community. More reports of attacks quickly followed and by midday police issued a warning that a vehicle reportedly carrying the two suspects had been spotted in Regina, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) south of the communities where the stabbings occurred.
Police said the last information they had from the public was that the suspects were sighted there around lunchtime. There have been no sightings since.
"If in the Regina area, take precautions & consider sheltering in place. Do not leave a secure location. DO NOT APPROACH suspicious persons. Do not pick up hitch hikers. Report suspicious persons, emergencies or info to 9-1-1. Do not disclose police locations,â€ the RCMP said in a message on Twitter.
Doreen Lees, an 89-year grandmother from Weldon, said she and her daughter thought they saw one of the suspects when a car came barreling down her street early in the morning as her daughter was having coffee on her deck. Lees said a man approached them and said he was hurt and needed help.
Investigators examine the ground at the scene of a stabbing in Weldon, Saskatchewan on Sunday. AP
But Lees said the man took off and ran after her daughter said she would call for help.
"He wouldnâ€™t show his face. He had a big jacket over his face. We asked his name and he kind of mumbled his name twice and we still couldnâ€™t get it,â€ she said. "He said his face was injured so bad he couldnâ€™t show it.â€
She said the man was by himself and "kind of a little wobbly.â€
"I followed him a little ways to see if he was going to be OK. My daughter said â€˜Donâ€™t follow him, get back here.â€™â€