Both brothers were wanted in connection with the death of 10 of those who were stabbed. But when asked by a reporter if Myles Sanderson was the killer, Blackmore said, “The witness statements that we’ve obtained indicate that Myles Sanderson is responsible,” though he noted that the investigation is still working to confirm. who exactly was involved.
The events that led to the death of Myles Sanderson began at 2:07 p.m. local time on Wednesday when officers received a report that Sanderson was standing next to a man with a knife in the northeast town of Vacaw after a break and enter call. He reportedly stole a white Chevrolet Avalanche truck and fled the property and alerted RCMP of an emergency, Blackmore said.
Over the next 45 minutes, the RCMP received more than 20 calls about a possible sighting of the truck. An RCMP officer eventually saw the truck traveling at least 150 km/h (90 mph) and that it was on a nearby highway, Blackmore said.
“To ensure the safety of motorists on the highway, the vehicle was diverted into a nearby ditch,” Blackmore said.
Blackmore said police confirmed the driver was Sanderson and took him into custody. A knife was found in his car.
“Shortly after his arrest, he went into medical distress. Nearby EMS was called to the scene and he was taken to a hospital in Saskatoon,” said Blackmore, who was pronounced dead at the hospital.
When Sanderson went into medical distress, “every life-saving measure we could was taken” until EMS arrived, Blackmore said. He did not comment when asked if the administration of Narcan was one of the life-saving measures.
“I can’t speak to the specific manner of death, that will be part of the autopsies that will be conducted,” Blackmore said.
According to Blackmore, the Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan Incident Response Team will be investigating Sanderson’s death.
Sanderson’s death and arrest follows 3 days later, 10 people died in a mass stabbing, and an additional 18 people were injured. Authorities said the ages of the victims ranged from 23 to 78.
All but one victim are from the James Smith Cree Nation
The 10 victims range in age from 23 to 78, and all but one are from the indigenous community of the James Smith Cree Nation, according to authorities.
Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service and RCMP In a statement Wednesday, it provided the names and ages of the victims but declined to confirm their relationship. Six of the victims share the surname Burns, two share the surname Head, and one shares the surname of two suspects in the attacks.
The victims have been identified:
- Thomas Burns, 23
- Carol Burns, 46
- Gregory Burns, 28
- Lydia Gloria Burns, 61
- Bonnie Burns, 48
- Earl Burns, 66
- Lana Head, 49
- Christian Head, 54
- Robert Sanderson, 49
- Wesley Petterson, 78
Petterson is from Weldon, Saskatchewan, and the other nine victims are from the James Smith Cree Nation.
Several family members of some of the victims spoke about their loved ones at a press conference on Wednesday. Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand identified Bonnie Burns as his sister and Gregory Burns as his son, and he said the other of his sons was stabbed but survived.
“Let me be honest, we don’t know what happened. We just know that our family members were killed in their own homes, in their own yards,” Arcand said.
In addition, 18 people were injured in the knife attacks, but authorities would not release their identities. “We can confirm that one young teenager was injured, the rest of the injured are all adults. We will not confirm other specific ages,” the agencies said.
The victim’s information has been released as Canadian police continue to search for one of two suspects in a series of brutal attacks on the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon that spanned 13 different crime scenes. in a nearby rural village.
Police say some of the victims were targeted
It remains unclear what led to the violence and how or if the brothers knew any of the victims.
Rhonda Blackmore, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said at a briefing Monday that some were targeted while others were attacked randomly.
According to Blackmore, it is not known whether the brothers’ attacks were carried out at the same time.
The first stabbing was reported on the James Smith Cree Nation at 5:40 a.m. A few minutes later, several other stabbing calls came in at other locations, police said.
According to its website, the nation has a population of about 3,400 and about 1,800 members live on the reservation.
At 9:45 a.m., authorities reported multiple victims, including Weldon.
Lydia Gloria Burns, first responder, His brother, Darryl Burns, told Reuters he was responding to a crisis call when he was assaulted and killed, though the agency did not say whether the call was related to the stabbing.
“He was killed,” his brother Ivor Burns told Reuters.
The discovery of Damien Sanderson’s body a day after the attacks also raised questions about his brother’s involvement in his death. But police said Monday it was unclear whether Myles Sanderson was involved.
“It’s a line of inquiry that we’re pursuing, but we can’t say definitively at this point,” Blackmore said.
The suspect had a “lengthy” criminal history and was on parole
Blackmore previously said there were warrants out for Sanderson’s arrest before the stabbing.
“Myles’ record goes back quite a few years and includes both property and personal crimes,” Blackmore said, without elaborating on the alleged crimes.
“His actions showed that he was violent, and that’s why we continue to stress that people should be vigilant,” Blackmore said.
On February 1, 2022, Sanderson was legally released by the Parole Board of Canada.
According to the Board, statutory release is statutory presumptive release that allows an offender to serve a portion of their sentence under direct supervision in the community. Under Canadian law, the Correctional Service of Canada must release most non-parole offenders under supervision after serving two-thirds of their sentence, except for those serving life sentences.
The board said in the decision that Sanderson does not believe he poses a risk to the public if released. The decision noted his long criminal history and that he was assessed by a psychologist as a “moderate risk of violence”.
“Your criminal history is very troubling, including the violence and use of weapons related to your crimes and your history of domestic violence that victimized your family, including your children and those outside your family.”
In a statement, the immunity council said it “passes its thoughts to the victims, their families and all those affected by these senseless and horrific acts of violence.”
Citing the Privacy Act, the council said it could not discuss the specifics of the offender’s case.
CNN’s Paula Newton, Tina Burnside, Chuck Johnston, Michelle Watson, Teele Rebane and Cara Lynn Clarkson contributed to this report.
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