Thursday September 08, 2022

Canada’s horrific knife rampage over as last suspect dies

Canada’s horrific knife rampage over as last suspect dies

People hold candles at a vigil in honour of the victims of a mass stabbing incident in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. AP

The last suspect in a horrific stabbing spree that killed 10 and wounded 18 in western Canada is dead following his capture, and police hope the stunning end to a gripping hunt that stretched into a fourth day will bring some peace to victims' families.

One official said Myles Sanderson, 32, died from self-inflicted injuries Wednesday after police forced the stolen car he was driving off a highway in Saskatchewan. Other officials declined to discuss how he died, but expressed relief the final suspected killer was no longer on the loose.

"This evening our province is breathing a collective sigh of relief,” Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan, said at a news conference Wednesday night.


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The other suspect, Sanderson's 30-year-old brother, Damien Sanderson, was found dead Monday near the scene of the bloody knife attacks inside and around the James Smith Cree First Nation reserve early Sunday. Both men were residents of the Indigenous reserve.

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

Canada’s horrific knife rampage over as last suspect dies
This combination of photos shows the stabbing victims in the attacks in Weldon, Saskatchewan. AP

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

"All life saving measures that we are capable of were taken at that time," she said.

Blackmore gave no details on the cause of death. "I can’t speak to the specific manner of death,” she said.

But an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, earlier said Sanderson died of self-inflicted injuries, without giving any further details.

Video and photos from the scene showed a white SUV off to the side of the road with police cars all around. Air bags had deployed in the SUV. Some photos and video taken from a distance appeared to show Sanderson being frisked.

An independent investigation by members of Saskatchewan’s Serious Incident Response Team went to the arrest site and will review Sanderson's death and police conduct.

Canada’s horrific knife rampage over as last suspect dies
Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks during a press conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. AP

The federal public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, also stressed that the events will be investigated.

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

His death came two days after the body of Damien Sanderson was found in a field near the scene of the knife rampage. Police are investigating whether Myles Sanderson killed his brother.

Blackmore said that with both men dead, authorities will find it hard to figure out what set off the rampage.

"Now that Myles is deceased we may never have an understanding of that motivation,” she said.

But she said she hoped the families of the stabbing victims will find some comfort that neither of the Sandersons remains a threat.

"I hope that this brings them closure. I hope they can rest easy knowing that Myles Sanderson is no longer a threat to them.”

Associated Press

 

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