Canada stabbing spree: Second suspect dies after arrest
One official said Myles Sanderson died from self-inflicted injuries after police forced the stolen car he was driving off a highway in Saskatchewan
TORONTO: A days-long search for the second man suspected of stabbings in a remote western Canadian Indigenous community ended on Wednesday, with the 32-year-old dying after being taken into custody, police said.
Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Saskatchewan Rhonda Blackmore told a news conference that Myles Sanderson “went into medical distress” shortly after being arrested in Saskatchewan province, and that he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. “This evening our province is breathing a collective sigh of relief,” Blackmore said.
She gave no other details of the circumstances.
One official said Myles Sanderson died from self-inflicted injuries after police forced the stolen car he was driving off a highway in Saskatchewan.
Myles Sanderson was “located and taken into police custody” near the town of Rosthern around 3.30pm, a release from the Saskatchewan unit of the RCMP said.
He, along with his brother Damien Sanderson, were the suspects in the stabbing rampage at the James Smith Cree Nation and the town of Weldon on Sunday, which left ten persons dead and 18 others injured.
A province-wide alert, issued as the search was in progress, was withdrawn. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe welcomed the arrest, as he tweeted, “To the men and women in uniform who have worked day and night to track down and arrest this dangerous criminal, thank you. We owe you all a great debt of gratitude.”
About half an hour prior to the arrest, police had issued an emergency alert in the town of Wakaw, after a man armed with a knife was spotted in the vicinity. Rosthern is less than 30 minutes by road from Wakaw.
Law enforcement immediately warned residents of Wakaw to shelter in place.
On Monday, the body of Damien Sanderson was located at around 11.30am at the James Smith Cree Nation, the epicentre of the stabbings. Later in the afternoon, Saskatchewan RCMP Forensic Investigation Section confirmed it was his corpse. “We can confirm he has visible injuries, not believed to be self-inflicted at this point,” Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, Commanding Officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP noted.
Police also released the identities of the victims. Nine of them were from the James Smith Cree Nation and the tenth from Weldon. Their ages ranged from 23 to 78 and they comprised four women and six men.
Police searched for 32-year-old Myles Sanderson as part of the ongoing investigation into the homicides on September 4.
He was “wanted on a Canada-wide Warrant for his arrest” and faced multiple charges including three related to murder.
On Tuesday, the outlet Regina Leader-Post reported that dozens of vehicles, along with a heavily-armoured trick and a police helicopter, combed the James Cree First Nations and its surroundings as Myles Anderson was thought to be holed up in a house in the community or in the vicinity. However, the search proved fruitless.
Myles Sanderson, according to a report in Global News, was released early from prison this year, as authorities believed, according to a Parole Board of Canada document, that he did “not present an undue risk to society if released as required.”
That referred to mandatory release after two-third of a sentence is served. He had been arrested in June 2018. He was a history-sheeter with 59 criminal convictions, according to the outlet. The decision to release him will now reviewed by the Board.
(With inputs from agencies)