Police investigate death of second Canadian stabbing suspect

Police investigate death of second Canadian stabbing suspect


Police and investigators gather at the scene where a suspect was arrested Wednesday in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press via AP


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Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press via AP


Police and investigators gather at the scene where a suspect was arrested Wednesday in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press via AP

ROSTHERN, Saskatchewan – The latest suspect in a horrific stabbing rampage that killed 10 people and injured 18 in western Canada is dead after his capture, but the way he died after being arrested has sparked controversy. new investigations.

An official said Myles Sanderson, 32, died of self-inflicted injuries on Wednesday after police forced the stolen car he was driving off a highway in Saskatchewan. Other officials declined to discuss how he died.

“I cannot speak to the specific manner of death. It will be part of the autopsy that will be performed,” Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan, told a conference of press Wednesday evening.

The other suspect, Sanderson’s 30-year-old brother, Damien Sanderson, was found dead Monday near the scene of the bloody stabbings in and around the James Smith Cree First Nation reserve early Sunday. Both men resided on the Aboriginal reserve.

Blackmore said Myles Sanderson was cornered as police units responded to a report of a stolen vehicle being driven by a knife-wielding man. She said officers forced Sanderson’s vehicle off the road and into a ditch. He was arrested and a knife was found inside the vehicle, she said.

Sanderson went into medical distress while in custody, Blackmore said. She said CPR was attempted on him before an ambulance arrived and he was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Every rescue action we are capable of was taken at that time,” she said.

Blackmore gave no details on the cause of death. But an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, earlier said Sanderson died of self-inflicted injuries, without giving further details.

Video and photos from the scene showed a white SUV driving along the road with police cars all around. Air bags had deployed in the SUV. Some photos and videos taken remotely appeared to show Sanderson being searched.

Members of Saskatchewan’s Serious Incident Response Team have attended the scene of the arrest and will review Sanderson’s death and the conduct of the police.

Federal Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino also stressed that the events will be investigated.

“We have questions”, says the Minister of Public Security

“You have questions. We have questions,” he told reporters at a Cabinet retreat in Vancouver, British Columbia, adding: “There will be two levels of police investigating the circumstances of the death of Myles Sanderson.”

His death came two days after Damien Sanderson’s body was found in a field near the scene of the stabbing. The police are investigating whether Myles Sanderson killed his brother.

Blackmore said that with both men dead, “we may never understand that motivation.”

But she said she hoped the families of the stabbing victims would find some comfort “knowing that Myles Sanderson is no longer a threat to them”.

Relatives of the victims arrived at the scene on Wednesday, including Brian Burns, whose wife and son were killed.

“Now we can start healing. Healing starts today, now,” he said.

Myles Sanderson was paroled in February

The stabbings raised questions about why Myles Sanderson – an ex-con with 59 convictions and a long history of shocking violence – was on the streets in the first place.

He was released by a parole board in February while serving a sentence of more than four years for assault and robbery charges. But he had been wanted by police since May, apparently for breaching the conditions of his release, although the details were not immediately clear.

His long and sinister rap sheet also showed that seven years ago he attacked and stabbed one of the victims killed in Sunday’s stabbings, according to court records.

Mendicino, the public safety minister, said there would be an investigation into the parole board’s assessment of Sanderson.

“I want to know the reasons for the decision” to release him, Mendicino said. “I am extremely concerned about what has happened here. A community has been left in shock.”

The Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service said nine of those killed were from James Smith’s Cree Nation: 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; and Robert Sanderson, 49. The other victim was from Weldon, Wesley Patterson, 78.

Authorities would not say if the victims could be related.

Mark Arcand said his half-sister Bonnie and son Gregory were killed.

“His son was lying there already deceased. My sister came out and tried to help her son, and she was stabbed twice, and she died right next to him,” he said. “Right outside her home, she was killed by senseless acts. She was protecting her son. She was protecting three little boys. That’s why she’s a hero.”

Arcand rushed into the reserve on the morning of the looting. After that, he said, “I woke up in the middle of the night screaming and screaming. What I saw that day, I can’t get rid of.”

As for what sparked the violence, Arcand said: “We’re all looking for the same answers. We don’t know what happened. Maybe we’ll never know. That’s the hardest part. of all that.”

Court documents say Sanderson attacked his in-laws Earl Burns and Joyce Burns in 2015, stabbing Earl Burns multiple times and injuring Joyce Burns. He later pleaded guilty to assault and threatening the life of Earl Burns.

Many of Sanderson’s crimes were committed while intoxicated, according to court records. He at one point told parole officials that substance use drove him crazy. Records showed he repeatedly violated court orders prohibiting him from drinking or using drugs.

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