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Saskatchewan stabbings: Second suspect dead after days on run following mass attack killing 10

Damien and Myles Sanderson, who are both still considered suspects in the Saskatchewan stabbings, died before being brought to justice

Johanna Chisholm,Graeme Massie
Thursday 08 September 2022 23:38 BST
10 dead and 18 injured in mass stabbings across Saskatchewan, Canada

The second suspect in the stabbing spree that killed 10 and wounded 18 people across rural Canada over the weekend has died from self-inflicted wounds after his truck was run off the road by police.

An official told the Associated Press that Myles Sanderson, 32, died after being captured around 3.30pm CST on Wednesday near the town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

Earlier Royal Canadian Mounted Police released the names of the 10 people who were killed during the Saskatchewan stabbings, who ranged in age from 23 to 78.

One day earlier, Damien Sanderson, 31, the second suspect and brother of Myles, was found dead from wounds that did not appear to be self-inflicted, police said.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said during a press conference on Wednesday night that with the deaths of both Myles and Damien, who she noted was still considered a suspect, the motive behind the carnage that unfolded on Sunday may never be known.

“His motivation may, at this time and forever, may only be known to Myles,” she said.


Police suspect Myles was in Regina with another person on Sunday

ICYMI: Initially, authorities suspected that Myles Sanderson and his brother Damien were spotted in Regina together on Sunday when a report came through at around 11.20 that the black Nissan Rogue that police believe the pair were using to escape was spotted in the city.

On Monday, however, when police discovered the body of Damien close to a house they were examining as part of the ongoing investigation, they changed that hypothesis to suggest that Myles, who remains at large, was in the city with someone else.

“Regina Police Chief Evan Bray on the information they received about the vehicle and two people being spotted in Regina -- he says it’s still relevant,” tweeted CBC reporter Sam Maciag on Monday night. “They believe that Myles WAS in Regina yesterday. They do not know who he was with. They also believe he’s still here.”

Graeme Massie6 September 2022 23:15

Memorials, donations and flags at half mast: How communities are remembering victims killed in stabbing spree

ICYMI: Bouquets tucked beneath a solitary tree outside the home of a now dead 77-year-old widower. Flags across Saskatchewan and neighbouring Manitoba at half mast.

These are just some of the tributes and small gestures that people in the prairie provinces of Canada are making as they struggle to come to grips with the terror that ripped through two small tightknit communities on Sunday.

Outside the home of Wes Petterson, 77, are handfuls of bright and colourful sunflowers, whose delight only temporarily masks the horror that unfolded a little more than 48 hours ago when a pair of brothers are suspected to have gone on a stabbing spree that left 10 dead and more than a dozen wounded.

Across the province of Saskatchewan and its neighbour to the east, legislative buildings with Canadian and provincial flags are dipping them down to half-mast in a gesture to commemorate the lives lost and the communities that will forever be torn apart by this tragedy.

“The flags of Canada and Manitoba, located at the entrance of the Legislative Grounds, have been lowered to half mast to honour the victims, their families and all first responders in Saskatchewan, following the ongoing tragic events that took place over the weekend,” wrote Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson on Twitter on Monday night.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald wrote in a statement on Monday that people who have reached out inquiring about where donations for the James Smith Cree Nation can be sent can follow the guidance of the three bands’ leaders.

“Donations of food” and other staple items - like Styrofoam plates, cups, etc - can be dropped off directly at the Bernard Constant Community School, the statement from the JSCN read.

“Please refrain from using e-transfers, instead feel free to bring gift cards or monetary donations to the command centre,” the statement continued.

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 01:05

Myles Sanderson had 59 criminal convictions since turning 18, reports

ICYMI: The remaining suspect that police in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba have dedicated resources to locate reportedly had a “lengthy” criminal record, local authorities and news outlets reported Monday.

“Even if he is injured, it does not mean he is not still dangerous,” said Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP on Monday, adding that Myles’ record involved crimes against people and property.

In February of this year, a parole board determined that the 30-year-old would “not present an undue risk,” and freeing him would “contribute to the protection of society” by facilitating his reintegration, Global News reported.

On Monday, police announced that both Sandersons had been issued arrest warrants for their involvement in Sunday’s deadly stabbings.

Myles Sanderson, 30, is one of two suspects wanted in connection with a series of deadly stabbings that were carried out at 13 different sites in and around James Smith Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan on Sunday
Myles Sanderson, 30, is one of two suspects wanted in connection with a series of deadly stabbings that were carried out at 13 different sites in and around James Smith Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan on Sunday (Regina Police Department)

Parole records obtained by Global News revealed how the young brother, who still remains at large, had accrued nearly two decades of criminal activity, which included drug and alcohol abuse, and associations with gang members and drug dealers.

In sum, since turning 18, Myles has racked up 59 criminal convictions, the news outlet reported.

The parole board considered Myles upbringing and struggles with drugs and alcohol in its February decision, including a stipulation that he must remain sober and seek therapy as part of his release.

According to his parole records, the younger brother spent his childhood bouncing between family members, reportedly leaving various guardians at different times during his youth because of an “abusive environment”.

Psychological records detail how this tumultuous upbringing “created a sense of abandonment and feelings of not being wanted,” which it said played a part in his criminal conduct.

“Considering your Indigenous background, the Board notes that there are factors from your background that may have contributed to your involvement in the criminal justice system,” the Parole Board’s decision read.

Those impacts included the inter-generational trauma from Canada’s residential school system, which a 2015 commission concluded was considered “cultural genocide”, exposure to substance abuse, experiencing domestic violence during childhood, family fragmentation, lack of education, and loss of culture and spirituality, Global News reported.

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 02:10

The ‘random’ victims of the Saskatchewan stabbing attacks

ICYMI: A spate of “abhorrent” stabbings in Canada’s western Saskatchewan province has led to the deaths of 11 people, including one of the suspects, and 18 wounded victims, with officials attempting to identify the victims and remaining on the lookout for the last suspect.

With the long weekend drawing to a close, the identities of the mothers, brothers, sisters and uncles who peopled the tight knit northern communities of Saskatchewan and whose lives were untimely cut short began to emerge.

One such person was 49-year-old Lana Head, a mother of two who worked as a security guard at Northern Lights Casino and was also a commissionaire officer.

Head’s former partner Michael Brett Burns told local news channel APTN News that she and her current partner died of their wounds.

He was quoted as saying: “It’s sick how jail time, drugs and alcohol can destroy many lives. I’m hurt for all this loss.”

Read more about the lives of the people who were killed in Sunday’s brutal stabbing attack below:

‘Random’ victims of Saskatchewan stabbings identified

‘No one in this town is ever going to sleep again,’ niece of 77-year-old victim says

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 03:02

Toronto’s CN Tower memorialises victims killed by dimming lights

ICYMI: Tributes for the victims killed and wounded in the James Smith Cree Nation stabbing attack on Sunday stretched across Canada on Monday night, with Toronto’s CN Tower creating their own makeshift memorial for the victims of the massacre.

“Tonight the CN Tower will dim for five minutes at the top of each hour in honour of the victims of attacks in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan,” the Twitter account for the CN Tower read on Monday night.

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 04:05

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge offer their condolences to victims killed in Saskatchewan stabbings

ICYMI: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge offered up their condolences for the families and friends of the victims who were killed and wounded on Sunday after a pair of brothers are suspected to have carried out a series of stabbing attacks in northern Saskatchewan.

“The attacks at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan are truly heart-breaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these horrific acts and all those that have lost loved ones. Catherine and I send our best wishes to the people of Canada. W,” a tweet from the official Twitter account of the royal couple read.

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 05:08

University of Saskatchewan scales back welcome week activities following stabbings

ICYMI: Following the violence on the James Smith Cree Nation, campus officials say that they will scale back welcome week activities.

University president Peter Stoicheff said that they planned to postpone any large campus gatherings “out of respect for the communities affected and for the fact that the situation remains an emergency.”

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 06:15

Everything we know about Damien and Myles Sanderson in the deadly attack

ICYMI: Two men are suspected to have carried out a spate of stabbings across Saskatchewan in one of the deadliest mass killings in Canada’s history.

One of the men, Damien Sanderson, was found dead Monday morning near a home that was being examined by police in James Smith Cree Nation as part of the investigation.

The other man, 30-year-old Myles Sanderson, remains at large with police insisting in recent briefings that they’re still working under the assumption that the suspect is somewhere in Regina, where he was reportedly last seen on Sunday morning, despite that intel being now more than a day old.

To get up to speed on everything we know about the two suspects in the Saskatchewan stabbings, read The Independent’s latest explainer:

Everything we know about Damien and Myles Sanderson in the Saskatchewan stabbings

One of the suspects, Myles Sanderson, 30, was reportedly listed as ’unlawfully at large’ by Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers in May

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 07:08

RMCP issues statement on hunt for suspect

ICYMI: “After further investigation into the reports of possible sightings of Myles Sanderson on the James Smith Cree Nation, the RCMP has determined that he is not located in the community. The RCMP continues to search for Myles Sanderson,” they stated.

“As the whereabouts of Myles Sanderson remain unknown, the emergency alert is active for the entire province and we continue to urge the public to take appropriate precautions.”

Graeme Massie7 September 2022 09:03

Police say they believe Myles Sanderson is no longer in Regina

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray provided an update on the manhunt for Myles Sanderson late Tuesday night and described how authorities now believe that the remaining suspect in the Saskatchewan stabbings has left the province’s capital of Regina.

“Early on Sunday we had information that proved to be reliable that Myles Sanderson was in our community and that as a result, the Regina Police Serivce was assisting the RCMP in trying to locate him,” the chief began in a video address posted to his Twitter.

“Today we received information that was leading us to believe he may no longer be in this community.”

The chief went onto explain that though investigators “don’t know his whereabouts”, the Regina police are continuing to assist with this RCMP-led investigation and will continue to look for him “not only within the city of Regina but expanding into the province as well.

Johanna Chisholm7 September 2022 10:27

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