Suspect In Canada Mass Stabbing Rampage Dies In Custody
32-year-old Myles Sanderson died after experiencing “medical distress” after allegedly going on a stabbing spree that killed 10 people and injured another 18.
On Sept. 4, 2022, a pair of brothers allegedly went on a stabbing spree in Saskatchewan, Canada, killing 10 people and injuring another 18.
32-year-old Myles Sanderson, who was the main suspect in the mass stabbing, died while in custody after his arrest. His brother, Damien Sanderson, had been the only other suspect, and he was found dead one day after the stabbings. On Sept. 5, 2022, the Royal Canadian Mountain Police announced charges against the brothers that included first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Myles was found after a manhunt which ended in a car chase, according to NPR. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said that all life-saving measures were taken to try to save the man after he went into “medical distress” not long after he was detained.
The Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan Incident Response Team are conducting an investigation into Sanderson's death. According to Canada's Global News, several law enforcement sources believed he died from self-inflicted injuries. Shortly before the stabbings, he had been freed on a statutory release after serving nearly five years in prison for assault, robbery, mischief, and uttering threats, CBC reported.
The majority of the stabbing spree took place at the James Smith Cree Nation, an Indigenous reservation in the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Overall, ten people were murdered during the rampage that took place at 13 different sites, and another 18 people were injured.
According to The Guardian, all the victims except for one were residents of James Smith Cree Nation.
The victims were named as: 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 and Wesley Petterson, 78.
The New York Times reported that it’s now believed that Myles, who was an outcast in the community, committed most of the murders. His brother helped with the stabbings, but many people in the community think that Myles killed Damien for eventually trying to end the stabbing spree. However, with both men now dead, much of the tragedy is a mystery, including the reasons why it ever happened.
“We may never have an understanding of that motivation,” said Blackmore.
At least some of the rampage seemed very personal. Myles killed the father of his common-law wife. He had a history of violence against his partner with whom he shared five children. Court records show he had repeatedly abused and threatened her, according to The New York Times. Despite the fact that the Parole Board of Canada ordered him not to contact her or his children, he was determined to get back together with her before he died.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents the James Smith Cree Nation, offered their condolences after the "unspeakable violence that claimed the lives of innocent people," according to the CBC.