A day after the knife attacks that killed 10 people in rural Canada, police found one of the two suspected brothers dead. “He had visible wounds that we do not believe at this time were self-inflicted,” lead investigator Rhonda Blackmore said on Monday (local time) in Regina, the capital of the Saskatchewan province.
The 31-year-old’s body lay in tall grass on the James Smith Cree Nation Indigenous Reservation near a house where police were investigating.
According to the police, the whereabouts of the second suspect, his brother who is one year his junior, are unclear. Investigators believe he is injured and may seek medical attention. They would neither confirm nor rule out that he was involved in the older brother’s death. The police did not provide any further information on the motive for the atrocities.
Investigators suspect that the two brothers are responsible for the violence at two locations in Saskatchewan – on the James Smith Cree Nation reservation and in the village of Weldon – on Sunday. Ten victims were killed and 18 injured.
Based on the status of the investigation as of Monday afternoon (local time), the younger brother is accused of three counts of murder and one other count of attempted murder. Additional charges are likely, police said. The suspect has a “long criminal record,” Blackmore said.
The search for the man is also increasing in Regina, which is around 300 kilometers south of the reserve. After the crimes on Sunday, the police had started the search in three states in central Canada. Sasketchewan, Alberta and Manitoba are five times the size of Germany.
Among other things, the investigators had set up checkpoints to check vehicles. The alleged perpetrators were last seen in an SUV in Regina on Sunday afternoon.
The James Smith Cree Nation has more than 3,400 members, nearly 2,000 of whom live on their reservation, according to their website. The site, where much of the economic activity is centered on agriculture and livestock, includes an office, school, fire department and community center, among other things. The leaders of the reservation declared a state of emergency after the bloody deeds on Sunday.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), an indigenous group, issued a statement suggesting drugs could be a possible cause of the attacks. “This is the devastation we must deal with when illicit drugs enter our communities,” wrote Chairman Bobby Cameron. “We require all authorities to listen more to chiefs, councilors and tribal members to create safer and healthier communities for our peoples.”