Canadian Stabbing Spree Manhunt Comes to Deadly End
The second suspect in a string of fatal stabbings died Wednesday after being taken into custody in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Myles Sanderson, 32, died after experiencing “medical distress” at the scene of his arrest, NBC reported.
Ten people were killed and at least 18 others injured Sunday in the attacks, which took place at the James Smith Cree Nation, an indigenous community, and the nearby town of Weldon.
The four-day manhunt began drawing to a close when a Wakaw-area resident reported seeing Sanderson, armed with a knife, outside his home, NBC reported. The man saw the suspect flee in the homeowner’s white Chevy Avalanche.
“[A]n alert was sent to Canadian mobile phone users warning people near the town of Wakaw to ‘seek immediate shelter/shelter in place’ because a man armed with a knife had been seen driving a stolen white Chevrolet Avalanche in the area,” the BBC reported.
Not long after that, police spotted the vehicle and chased it at speeds topping 90 miles per hour before officers forced the truck into a ditch.
As police took him into custody, Sanderson “went into medical distress,” according to NBC. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police arrest Canadian stabbing spree suspect Myles Sanderson https://t.co/bksGdJCk9x pic.twitter.com/lf0bafYGOs
— New York Post (@nypost) September 7, 2022
The Associated Press quoted an official familiar with the investigation as saying Sanderson’s injuries were “self-inflicted,” but declined to provide details.
Sanderson’s younger brother Damien, 31, also a suspect in the attacks, was found dead Monday in a field near where the victims had been attacked. Authorities told the media Damien’s wounds did not appear to be self-inflicted, so police believe Myles may have killed him, as well, the BBC reported.
“The victims, whose identities were released Wednesday, ranged in age from 23 to 78,” The Washington Post reported. “All but one were from the James Smith Cree Nation. They included a mother who died protecting her children, an addictions counselor who was responding to an emergency call and a Canadian army veteran.”
Some of the victims appear to have been targeted, police said, while others were random, according to the AP.
“The stabbing rampage raised questions of why Myles Sanderson — an ex-con with 59 convictions and a long history of shocking violence — was out on the streets in the first place,” AP reported.
The Washington Post, citing records from the Parole Board of Canada, said Sanderson had previously “stabbed two people with a fork, beat a man unconscious and repeatedly kicked the head of a police officer.”
The BBC said seven years ago, Sanderson had previously stabbed two of the victims who were subsequently killed in Sunday’s rampage. Those two were his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Earl Burns and Joyce Burns.
The BBC reported that officials will review why Myles Sanderson had been released on parole in February from his four-year sentence for assault and robbery.
“I want to know the reasons behind the [parole] decision,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters, according to the BBC. “I’m extremely concerned by what occurred here.”
At that time, according to the outlet, “the [parole] board said he would ‘not present an undue risk’ and that his release would ‘contribute to the protection of society’ by facilitating his rehabilitation.”
The AP reported Sanderson had been sought by police since May for a parole violation.
At a news conference Wednesday, Rhonda Blackmore, a commanding officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told reporters, “This evening, our province is breathing a collective sigh of relief,” according to NBC.
Asked about a motive for the attacks, Blackmore said, “unfortunately, now that Myles is deceased, we may never have an understanding of that motivation.”
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