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Saskatchewan RCMP respond to firearms discharge in residential area on Cumberland House Cree Nation

Afroza Hossain

On June 2, 2022, Cumberland House RCMP received information that a male wanted on a warrant for assaulting a police officer was on Cumberland House Cree Nation. Officers began investigating and contained a residence on Pemmican Portage Avenue, then observed a male on the property with a firearm. They immediately requested additional Saskatchewan RCMP officers to assist with the ongoing investigation.

This included the Saskatchewan RCMP’s Critical Incident Response Team, which immediately deployed to the community to assist. Due to the seriousness of the unfolding event, Saskatchewan RCMP issued a civil emergency alert, an action reserved for the most dangerous of situations, at 1:13 p.m., asking people to stay inside their homes, lock their doors/windows and to avoid picking up hitchhikers. This alert was broadcasted to all cell phones in the Cumberland House Cree Nation and Cumberland House area and information was also issued via media release and social media.

The Nisto Awasisak Memorial School enacted hold-and-secure protocols and multiple people were evacuated from residences in the vicinity of the incident.

Immediately after the initial civil emergency alert was issued, two individuals inside the residence surrendered and were arrested. A third person later also surrendered and was arrested. Officers located and seized a loaded firearm from one of the individuals.

Occupants still inside the residence began discharging firearms from within the residence.

At 3:18 p.m., Saskatchewan RCMP issued a second civil emergency alert, media release and social media posts advising the public of this.

Critical Incident Response Team officers worked to safely arrest the occupants, using a variety of tactics in an effort to have them stop discharging the firearms and exit the residence. They did not comply. Shots were exchanged between an occupant and Critical Incident Response Team officers.

At approximately 4:50 p.m., a male exited the residence and was arrested without incident. He was taken to hospital for a medical condition unrelated to the incident. He told officers that there was another injured male in the residence. Critical Incident Response Team officers entered the residence and located the injured male. Emergency medical care was provided by RCMP officers with advanced medical training on scene. The man was transported to hospital by EMS where he was declared deceased.

He has been identified as a 22-year-old male from Prince Albert. His family has been notified. Saskatchewan RCMP is not releasing his name.

When an incident involves a death or serious injury, the RCMP Act – the legislation that governs the RCMP – requires that an investigation be conducted by an external agency. The Saskatchewan RCMP has requested the Moose Jaw Police Service conduct the independent, external investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. The Saskatchewan RCMP has requested the Ministry of Justice appoint an independent investigation observer in accordance with Section 91.1 of the Saskatchewan Police Act.

The four other individuals arrested during the incident remain in custody and Saskatchewan RCMP continues to investigate. Details on charges will be provided when available.

Click here for more information about the Saskatchewan Critical Incident Response Team.

As this matter is now the subject of an external investigation, no further information can be provided at this time.

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