Three individuals have been charged in relation to a series of events that took place near Witchekan Lake First Nation at the beginning of the month.
At approximately 12:51 a.m., on September 2, Spiritwood RCMP received a report that shots had been fired on Witchekan Lake First Nation. Witnesses at the scene advised that a male in a grey Pontiac was shooting at a driver in a white Ford vehicle. Officers attended the scene immediately.
Later in the day, around 2:00 p.m., a vehicle in the community fled from officers as they were investigating the incident.
The vehicle was abandoned as two occupants fled on foot into the bush.
With the assistance of Police Dog Services (PDS) and the RCMP Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), a 31-year-old male was arrested.
A couple days later, on September 5, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Spiritwood RCMP received a report of a black Nissan SUV being stolen.
At 9:20 a.m., RCMP got a report saying occupants in a black Nissan SUV had stolen gas from a gas station in Leoville.
All the occupants in the vehicle were reported to have been wearing masks. Police then received another report which stated that an occupant of a black Nissan SUV discharged a firearm in the direction of a resident in the area. The resident was not injured.
All available officers from the Spiritwood RCMP along with additional RCMP resources including PDS, ERT and CIC, were called to locate the black Nissan SUV.
Due to the imminent risk to public safety identified by investigators, a dangerous persons emergency alert was broadcasted to all residents in the Witchekan Lake First Nation and surrounding areas to seek immediate shelter.
Police began to receive multiple reports of the black SUV driving dangerously and swerving into incoming traffic between the Witchekan Lake First Nation and the Pelican Lake First Nation. The suspect vehicle continued to evade police.
Just after 11:30 a.m., officers located the suspect vehicle in a cornfield near the Witchekan Lake First Nation and were advised that that the occupant may be armed with a firearm.
RCMP perused the vehicle through the cornfield at high speeds until it eventually caught fire and came to a stop.
Police apprehended the driver and lone occupant of the vehicle and confirmed that the individual was not involved in the initial reports of shots fired.
Later that afternoon, a dangerous persons alert was issued provincewide.
The alert was cancelled just before 3:00 a.m. the following morning.
Three people from Witchekan Lake First Nation have now been charged with varying offences including armed robbery, assault with a weapon, theft, and break and enter.
Shane Witchekan, a 33-year-old from Witchekan Lake First Nation is currently facing 12 charges. These include; Robbery with a firearm, careless use of a firearm, and possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition.
Shane Witchekan appeared in court in North Battleford on September 9, 2022.
22-year-old, Kelly Witchikan, of Witchikan Lake First Nation is facing 11 charges, including Possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition, carrying a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, and using a firearm while committing assault with a weapon.
Kelly Witchekan appeared in court in North Battleford on September 9, 2022.
Dallas Sakebow, aged 31, of Witchekan Lake First Nation, has been charged with one count of theft of truck and one count of breaking, entering, and committing. Sakebow appeared in court in North Battleford on September 9, 2022.
33-year-old Melvin Starblanket was located by police on September 7, 2022.
The investigation is still ongoing.
The Spiritwood RCMP is asking anyone with information they may have on the shootings that occurred on September 5, 2022, to contact their local police detachment or contact them at 306-883-4210.