Canadian police find stabbing spree suspect Damien Sanderson dead, hunt remaining suspect on the run.
Canadian police found Damien Sanderson, one of the suspects in a mass stabbing spree dead on Monday while the other suspect, his brother, remained at large.
The brothers had been suspected of murdering 10 people and wounding 18 in a stabbing rampage that devastated an indigenous community in Saskatchewan on Sunday.
The attacks were among the deadliest in Canada’s modern history.
Police said some of the victims appeared to have been targeted, while others were apparently random.
Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead on the James Smith Cree Nation and his brother, Myles Sanderson, 30, “may have sustained injuries” and may be seeking medical attention, said Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at a news conference.
With the death of one Sanderson brother and the injury to the other, the casualty count now stood at 11 dead and 19 injured, Blackmore said.
Damien Sanderson’s body was found outdoors in a heavily grassy area near a house that was being examined, she said.
“We can confirm he has visible injuries. These injuries are not believed to be self-inflicted at this point,” Blackmore said without specifying what caused the injuries.
Asked if Myles Sanderson was suspected of also killing his brother, Blackmore said, “We haven’t confirmed that. We can’t say one way or the other if Myles was involved in the death of Damien.”
She also warned that police still considered Myles Sanderson a danger to the public, even if he were injured.
“Myles has a lengthy criminal record involving both persons and property crimes. … We consider him armed and dangerous. Do not approach him,” Blackmore said.
CBC News reported that police in the Saskatchewan city of Saskatoon had been searching for Myles Sanderson since May, when he stopped meeting his parole officer after serving a sentence for assault, robbery, mischief and uttering threats.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attacks “shocking and heartbreaking” and said he had spoken with the leadership of the James Smith Cree Nation and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to pledge his government’s support.
“The federal government will be there with the resources necessary right now in this time of crisis but also we’ll continue to work as partners in the weeks, months and years to come through grieving and healing,” Trudeau said at the Ottawa airport, before flying to Vancouver for a meeting of Liberal ministers.
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In an unrelated incident that has further rattled the province, police in Saskatchewan said on Monday they were investigating reports of a shooting on Witchekan Lake First Nation and warned the public that several armed suspects were on the loose
The stabbing attack was among the deadliest mass killings in Canada, where such crimes are less common than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020, when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people. In 2019, a man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto.
Police in Saskatchewan got their first call about a stabbing at 5.40am on Sunday, and within minutes heard about several more. In all, dead or injured people were found at 13 different locations on the sparsely populated reserve and in the town, Ms Blackmore said.
James Smith Cree Nation is about 20 miles (30km) from Weldon.
Among the 10 killed was Lana Head, who is the former partner of Michael Brett Burns and the mother of their two daughters.
“It’s sick how jail time, drugs and alcohol can destroy many lives,” Mr Burns told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. “I’m hurt for all this loss.”