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Two Hunters, Looking For Food, Were Shot Dead After Coronavirus Layoffs

An Indigenous uncle and nephew were found dead in rural Alberta this weekend. They were out hunting for food after one had been laid off.
March 31, 2020, 4:46pm
Two men who were found dead Saturday on a rural road in northeastern Alberta were out hunting to feed their families following a layoff connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two men who were found shot dead Saturday on a rural road in northeastern Alberta were out hunting to feed their families following a layoff connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jake Sansom, 39 and his uncle Morris Cardinal, 57, were found dead on Saturday on a rural road north of the small town of Glendon by someone driving by. According to a police report, the two men were found outside of their truck with gunshot wounds, and their deaths are being treated as “suspicious.”

According to the Edmonton Journal and social media posts by family and friends, Sansom and Cardinal had spent Friday hunting to put food on the table for their families and others in the community, after Sansom was laid off from his job as a heavy-duty mechanic amid the coronavirus pandemic. Both men were of Indigenous ancestry and could therefore hunt out of season.

One person posted photos of the two hunting together on Friday and said they had already bagged one moose, which they had left with one of Cardinal’s family members, and were on the hunt for another.

“You did what you have done all your life and took it to a family in need and left half your moose there and were bringing home the rest to feed many other families,” said the post.

The family released statements about Sansom and Cardinal but are asking for distance from the media. According to the family, Sansom, a married father of three who worked as a volunteer firefighter, was a “gentle giant.”

“All the kids in the community loved him and everyone knew who he was, knew he had a heart of gold and would give the shirt off his back for anyone,” the statement said.

Morris worked as a tree feller for years and leaves behind five young grandkids and three stepchildren.

“Morris was the most generous, hilarious man with a heart of gold and everyone’s best friend and the life of the party, always,” reads the family’s statement.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Sarah Sansom, Sansom’s wife, and has raised over $20,000 at the time of publication.

The RCMP major crimes unit is requesting any trail, dashboard, and surveillance camera footage from that area from 8 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday. An RCMP spokesperson told VICE they are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.

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