According to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, Myles Sanderson, the suspect in the mass stabbing in Canada, died Wednesday after going into “medical distress” following his arrest.
With Sanderson’s death, both suspects in the attack that shook the Canadian province of Saskatchewan have died. Damien Sanderson, Sanderson’s brother, was found dead a day after the attacks with injuries that were not considered to be self-inflicted, according to authorities.
Both brothers were wanted in connection with the murders of ten people who were stabbed. When asked by a reporter if Myles Sanderson was responsible for the killings, Blackmore responded, “Our witness reports that we have received have indicated that Myles Sanderson was the person responsible,” while she added that the investigation is still ongoing to determine who was involved.
The sequence of events that led to Myles Sanderson’s death began with a phone call at 2:07 p.m. When cops received information that Sanderson was standing outside of a home northeast of the town of Wakaw with a knife, they responded about 10 a.m. local time Wednesday. According to Blackmore, he stole a white Chevrolet Avalanche truck and fled the site, prompting the RCMP to issue an emergency alert.
Over the next 45 minutes, RCMP received more than 20 calls concerning probable sightings of the truck. According to Blackmore, an RCMP officer eventually observed the vehicle traveling at least 150 kph (90 mph) and it was located on a nearby roadway.
“The vehicle was diverted off the road and into a neighbouring ditch to guarantee the safety of highway drivers,” Blackmore said.
According to Blackmore, police identified the motorist as Sanderson and arrested him. Inside his car, a knife was discovered.
“Shortly after his arrest, he fell into medical difficulty, and he was brought to a hospital in Saskatoon,” Blackmore said, adding that he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
When Sanderson became ill, Blackmore stated that “all life-saving procedures that we are capable of taking were taken” until EMS arrived. When questioned if Narcan administration was one of those life-saving procedures, she remained silent.
“I can’t speak to the precise manner of death since that will be part of the autopsy,” Blackmore added.
According to Blackmore, the investigation into Sanderson’s death will be handled by the Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan Incident Response Team.
Sanderson’s death and arrest come three days after a mass stabbing that killed ten people and injured another 18. According to investigators, the victims’ ages ranged from 23 to 78 years old.
Except for one, all of the victims are members of the James Smith Cree Nation.
According to officials, the ten victims range in age from 23 to 78 years old, and all but one are from the Indigenous community of James Smith Cree Nation.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service and the RCMP disclosed the names and ages of the victims but declined to confirm their relationships. Six of the victims had the surname Burns, two have the surname Head, and one has the surname of one of the two attackers.
Remembering the lives lost in Saskatchewan mass stabbing; woman killed called a ‘hero’ and ‘true matriarch’ /via @globeandmail https://t.co/ZAOUr8wKXJ
— Christina Frangou (@cfrangou) September 8, 2022
The victims were recognized as follows:
- Christian Head, 54
- Robert Sanderson, 49
- Carol Burns, 46
- Thomas Burns, 23
- Earl Burns, 66
- Lana Head, 49
- Gregory Burns, 28
- Lydia Gloria Burns, 61
- Bonnie Burns, 48
- Wesley Petterson, 78
Petterson is a resident of Weldon, Saskatchewan, while the other nine victims are members of the James Smith Cree Nation.
Several family members of some victims spoke about their loved ones at a press conference on Wednesday. Bonnie Burns was identified as his sister, and Gregory Burns as her son, by Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand, who also said another of her sons was stabbed but survived.
“To be honest, we don’t really know what happened; all we know is that our family members were killed in their own home, in their own yard,” Arcand said.
In addition, 18 people were hurt in the stabbing incidents, but their identities will not be released. “We can confirm one young teen was hurt, and the remaining victims are all adults; we will not confirm additional ages,” the organization stated.
According to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, three patients were in critical condition and seven were in stable condition as of Tuesday.
While Canadian police maintained their extensive hunt for one of the two suspects in the violent attacks, which spanned 13 distinct crime scenes in the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, a nearby rural community, the victim information was revealed.
According to investigators, some of the victims were apparently targeted.
It’s unknown what sparked the violence or whether the brothers knew any of the victims.
Some appear to have been targeted, while others may have been attacked at random, according to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore in a Monday briefing.
According to Blackmore, it’s also unknown whether the brothers carried out the attacks at the same time.
The initial stabbing was reported at 5:40 a.m. in the James Smith Cree Nation. Police claimed that numerous more complaints regarding stabbings in different locations came in minutes afterward.
According to their website, the country has a population of over 3,400 people, with approximately 1,800 members living on the reservation.
Authorities were reporting victims in numerous areas, including one in Weldon, by 9:45 a.m.
Lydia Gloria Burns, a first responder, was responding to a crisis call when she was slain, according to her brother Darryl Burns, however the agency would not clarify if the call was related to the stabbings.
“She was butchered,” Ivor Burns, her brother, told Reuters.
Damien Sanderson’s body was discovered a day after the attacks, raising questions about his brother’s involvement in his death. However, police stated on Monday that it was unclear whether Myles Sanderson was involved.
“We are following up on an investigative avenue,” Blackmore added.
The suspect had a “lengthy” criminal history and was granted parole by the parole board.
Sanderson had warrants out for his arrest, according to Blackmore, prior to the stabbings.
“Myles’ record spans several years and involves both property and person crimes,” Blackmore stated, without elaborating on the alleged offenses.
“His acts have demonstrated that he is violent, and we are continuing to urge people to be careful,” Blackmore added.
According to a ruling issued on February 1, 2022, Sanderson was granted statutory release by the Parole Board of Canada.
According to the board, the statutory release is a presumption release by law that lets an offender serve part of their sentence in the community under direct supervision. Except for individuals serving a life sentence, the Correctional Service of Canada is required by law to release most offenders with monitoring once they have served two-thirds of their term if they have not already been granted parole.
The board stated in its ruling that it did not believe Sanderson would endanger the public if released. The decision did mention his lengthy criminal record and that he had been assessed by a psychologist as having a “moderate risk of violence.”
“Your criminal past is particularly alarming, including the use of violence and weapons in connection with your index offences, as well as your history of domestic violence that victimised family members, including your children, and non-family members,” the judgment adds.
The Parole Board stated in a statement that it “expresses its condolences to the victims, their families, and all those who have been harmed as a result of these senseless and awful acts of violence.”
The board stated that it could not discuss specifics of an offender’s case due to the Privacy Act.