Gang activity continues to plague Onion Lake Cree Nation after street gang associates opened fire and shot at pursuing RCMP officers Jan. 1.
According to Onion Lake RCMP, officers were following a black SUV on Onion Lake Cree Nation when they observed a firearm come out of one of its windows and multiple shots were fired at police.
Onion Lake RCMP pursued the black SUV while the alleged gang members continued to shoot at police.
“This is a reminder that policing is dangerous,” said Saskatchewan RCMP Inspector Joshua Graham, who oversaw the incident as the officer in charge of Operations for Central Saskatchewan.
“When an incident starts involving firearms, as the officer in charge of operations, I naturally worry about the safety of my officers involved. Then I remember that we are all in good hands. Every day, I see several examples of good policing like this across our province, where our officers are successful at stopping a threat while controlling the risks and ensuring officer and public safety.”
Police say the incident stated on Jan. 1 at about 2 p.m. after Onion Lake RCMP received a report from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV had entered their private yard before quickly driving off, smashing through their fence.
RCMP searched for the SUV and found it travelling at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. Police followed the SUV on Highway 17 and as it turned east onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police noticed the long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police.
Police pursued the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion lake Cree Nation high school. A male driver and male front passenger jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot into an open field. Police pursued the fleeing suspects on foot while additional officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women.
Police located and arrested the male passenger in a nearby baseball field and the male driver hiding inside a garbage bin.
All five occupants were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial General Investigation Section Police took over the investigation and arrested Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, from Onion Lake Cree nation, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, from Onion Lake Cree Nation.
All six 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.
Tyler Ryan Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving.
Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon.
All five remain in custody and are scheduled to appear in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Jan. 20, 2021.
Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon.
A search of the black SUV resulted in the seizure of two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions.
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. The murder of Conrad Mooswa, Braden Bull and Braden Sparvier in a span of about three months was also a factor in the Nation declaring a state of emergency.
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.
Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster.
Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist