() — A manhunt is underway in Canada for two “armed and dangerous” men who are suspected in a mass stabbing Sunday that left at least 10 dead and 15 injured in and around an indigenous community in Saskatchewan, authorities say.
The suspects, identified by police as Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson, are believed to have been traveling in a black Nissan Rogue with Saskatchewan license plate 119 MPI, the police said. Royal Canadian Mounted Policenoting that it is unclear if the couple may have switched vehicles.
Community leaders from the James Smith Cree Nation declared a state of emergency on Sunday in response to “numerous killings and assaults” against members of the community, according to a press release. At least one attack also occurred in the neighboring community of Weldon, according to police.
“It’s certainly a very significant event, if not the largest we’ve seen in recent years,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Deputy Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said.
Some of the victims appear to have been targeted, while others are believed to have been attacked at random, police said.
Authorities are urging area residents to be vigilant and take precautions, including sheltering in some communities, as the suspects remain at large. Police issued a “civil emergency” alert warning residents of the Regina area to take special care after police received a report that the suspects may have been traveling there.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked and devastated” by the violent attacks.
“As Canadians, we mourn all those affected by this tragic violence, and the people of Saskatchewan. We also wish a full and speedy recovery to those injured,” Trudeau said in a statement Sunday night.
As the search for the man continues, here’s what we know.
How did the attacks unfold?
Police received the first report of a stabbing at the James Smith Cree Nation at 5:40 a.m., and within minutes several more calls came in reporting other stabbings throughout the community, police said.
Within a few hours, the situation turned into a massive stabbing with at least 25 victims, 10 of whom died.
Three STARS Air Ambulance helicopters were dispatched to the James Smith Cree Nation during the attack, company spokesman Mark Oddan told . The first crew to arrive went about triaging the victims and the second aircraft carried a medic to help triage and direct the emergency response, he said.
Helicopter crews took some victims to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon and other patients were taken to local hospitals by ground ambulances, Oddan said. He was unable to provide details about the patients or their conditions.
Police issued multiple dangerous person alerts throughout the morning, which spread across the province of Saskatchewan and into neighboring Manitoba and Alberta.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino called on residents to take shelter. “To everyone in Saskatchewan, especially those near the James Smith Cree First Nation area, please shelter in place and stay safe,” he tweeted.
The authorities have identified 13 different scenarios where the attacks took place. There may be more victims who were injured and self-transported to the hospital, police said, urging potential victims to contact law enforcement.
“Our thoughts are with the many deceased and injured victims, their families, friends and the community. It is horrible what has happened in our province today,” Blackmore said.
Who are the suspects?
Less than three hours after the first attack was reported, police identified Damian Sanderson and Myles Sanderson as suspects in the stabbing death.
Damien Sanderson, 31, is described by authorities as a 5-foot-tall, 160-pound man with black hair and brown eyes. Myles Sanderson, 30, is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds, has brown hair and eyes, according to police.
Authorities have not said if the couple is related.
The vehicle they are believed to be driving was seen around 11:45 a.m. in Regina, police said. Regina is more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the James Smith Cree Nation.
“This is why we need everyone in the province to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity by immediately calling 911,” Blackmore said in a statement Sunday. “If you see the suspects and/or their vehicle, do not approach them or their vehicle, immediately leave the area and call 911.”
In a message to the two suspects, Blackmore said: “If Damien and Myles are listening to or receiving this information, I ask that they turn themselves in to the police immediately.”
What has been the response of the Canadian authorities?
The violent attacks have shocked Canadian residents and officials as law enforcement scramble to apprehend the suspects.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe offered his condolences to the province’s residents in a tweet.
“There are no words to adequately describe the pain and loss caused by this senseless violence. All of Saskatchewan mourns the victims and their families,” Moe wrote.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba are jointly investigating the stabbings.
“We are devoting the maximum number of resources to this investigation,” Blackmore said.
Two emergency centers have been created to “provide health support” to the affected communities, the leaders of the James Smith Cree Nation said in a statement.
In response to the stabbings, the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Soccer League announced an increase in security personnel at their Sunday game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Roughriders play at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.
“The club operates a centralized command center on match day that allows immediate connection to local emergency services and the ability to receive up-to-the-minute information when any type of emergency occurs,” the team said in a statement on Twitter.
‘s Paula Newton and Amir Vera contributed to this report.