Gang associates who allegedly shot at RCMP pursuing them on Onion Lake Cree Nation appear in court

·4 min read

Alleged street gang associates accused of shooting at police who were pursuing them during a high-speed chase on Onion Lake Cree Nation had appearances in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 20.

Crown Prosecutor Oryn Holm from North Battleford, told the court he was opposed to the release of Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, all from Onion Lake Cree Nation. Buffalo and Wolfe have show cause hearings on Feb. 3, and Chief has a hearing on Jan. 28.

Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., appeared by CCTV from Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women and the appearances for the rest of the defendants were waived.

The Crown agreed to McAlpine’s release. Defence Cameron Schmunk from Legal Aid in North Battleford told the court he was only representing McAlpine that day as duty counsel. She is scheduled to appear again on March 3.

The case against Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, was adjourned to Feb. 3.

Buffalo, Chief, Weeseekase, Wolfe and McAlpine were all arrested on Jan. 1, 2021.

The incident started at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Onion Lake RCMP received a call from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV came into their private yard, drove off and smashed through their fence.

RCMP patrolled the area in search of the SUV and found it driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. They followed the SUV down Highway 17 and then onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police saw a long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police.

Police continued to pursue the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion Lake Cree Nation high school. Two men, including the driver and a front passenger, jumped out of the SUV and fled on foot into an open field.

Police chased the fleeing suspects on foot and additional RCMP officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women.

RCMP found the driver, Tyler Wolfe, hiding inside a garbage bin and the passenger in a nearby baseball field.

From the SUV, police seized two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions.

RCMP say the occupants of the SUV were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial RCMP General Investigation Section took over the investigation.

Wolfe, Weeseekase, Chief and Buffalo were charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon, and assault of a police officer with a weapon.

Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving. Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon. McAlpine was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon.

The charges against Wolfe, Weeseekase, McAlpine, Chief and Buffalo haven’t been proven in court.

Onion Lake state of emergency

Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in January 2020 after a string of drug and gang-related violence threatened the safety of the community, including three murders in as many months.

If anyone has any information that could assist investigators, please contact Onion Lake RCMP at 306-344-5550. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com.

If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance.

Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster.

ljoy@glaciermedia.ca

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist