One of two stabbing suspects in Canada found dead, police say


Canadian police said on Monday that one of the suspects in the murder of 10 people in a series of stabbings was found dead and his injuries were not self-inflicted. They said his brother, also a suspect, may be injured and still at large.

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead and they believe Myles Sanderson, 30, is in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Canadian police were looking for two men suspected of killing 10 people in a series of stabbings in an Indigenous community and nearby town on Monday, amid a massive manhunt for the perpetrators of one of the attacks the deadliest in the country’s history stretched into its second day.

Authorities said some of the victims were targeted and others appeared to have been picked at random from the James Smith Cree Nation and the town of Weldon in the province of Saskatchewan. They gave no motive for the crimes, which also left 18 people injured – but a senior Indigenous leader suggested drugs were somehow involved.

Police believe the suspects were last seen around noon Sunday in the provincial capital of Regina, about 335 kilometers (210 miles) south of where the stabbings took place. Police believe they are still in town, but have not said why they think so. Authorities have issued alerts in Canada’s three vast prairie provinces – which also include Manitoba and Alberta – and have contacted US border officials.

Fear has gripped working-class rural communities in Saskatchewan, surrounded by farmland terrorized by crime. A witness who said he lost family members described seeing people with bloody wounds scattered throughout the native reservation.

“No one in this town will ever sleep again. They are going to be terrified to open their door,” said Ruby Works, who also lost a loved one and lives in Weldon, which has around 200 residents and is home to many. retirees.

As Labor Day weekend drew to a close on Monday, police urged Saskatchewan residents returning from trips to check for suspicious activity around their homes before entering.

Warrants had been issued for Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, and the pair had earlier been charged with at least one count each of murder and attempted murder. Further charges were expected.

Police gave few details about the men. Last May, Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers released a wanted list that included Myles Sanderson, writing that he was “illegally at large.”

Police have also issued a province-wide alert for suspects in a shooting on Witchekan Lake First Nation. Officials said the shooting was not believed to be related to the stabbings, but such alerts are unusual and the fact that a second occurred when authorities were already scouring Saskatchewan for the stabbing suspects was outstanding.

The stabbing was one of the deadliest massacres in Canada, where such crimes are less common than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history occurred in 2020, when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across New Brunswick province. -Scotland, killing 22 people. In 2019, a man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto.

Lethal mass stabbings are rarer than mass shootings, but have occurred around the world. In 2014, 29 people were slashed and stabbed to death at a train station in the city of Kunming in southwest China. In 2016, a massive knife attack at a facility for the mentally disabled in Sagamihara, Japan, left 19 people dead. A year later, three men kill eight people in a vehicle and attack with a knife at London Bridge.

“It’s horrible what’s happened in our province,” said Rhonda Blackmore, Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan.

Police received their first call about a stabbing at 5.40am on Sunday, and within minutes heard of several more. In total, dead or injured people were found at 13 different locations on the sparsely populated reservation and in the city, Blackmore said. The James Smith Cree Nation is approximately 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Weldon.

She could not provide a motive, but the leader of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations suggested the stabbings could be drug-related.

“This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we call on all authorities to follow the direction of Chiefs and Councils and their members to create safer and healthier communities for our people,” said Chief Bobby Cameron.

Elected leaders from the three communities that make up the James Smith Cree Nation have declared a local state of emergency.

Chakastaypasin chief Calvin Sanderson – who is apparently not related to the suspects – said everyone was affected by the tragic events.

“They were our parents, our friends,” Sanderson said of the victims. “It’s pretty awful.”

Among the 10 killed was Lana Head, who is the former girlfriend of Michael Brett Burns and the mother of their two daughters.

“It’s crazy how prison, drugs and alcohol can destroy so many lives,” Burns told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. “I’m hurt for all this loss.”

Burns then posted on Facebook that there were dead and injured all over the reservation, making it look like “a war zone”.

“The look in their eyes could not express the pain and suffering of all who were assaulted,” he posted.

Doreen Lees, an 89-year-old grandmother from Weldon, said she and her daughter thought they saw one of the suspects when a car pulled up on her street early on Sunday as her daughter was having coffee on her patio . Lees said a man approached them and said he was injured and needed help.

But Lees said the man took off after his daughter announced she would call for help.

“He wouldn’t show his face. He had a big jacket over his face. We asked for his name and he kind of mumbled his name twice and we still couldn’t get it,” she said. “He said his face was so hurt he couldn’t show it.”

She said she started following him because she was worried about him, but her daughter told her to come home.

Weldon residents identified one of the dead as Wes Petterson, a retired widower who brewed coffee every morning at the aged care centre. He enjoyed gardening, picking berries, canning and making jam and cakes, recall William Works, 47, and his mother, Sharon Works, 64.

“He would give you the shirt off his back if he could,” said William Works, describing his neighbor as a “nice old man” and “community first.”

Sharon Works was baffled: “I don’t understand why they would target someone like him anyway, because he was just a poor helpless little man, 100 pounds drenched. And he could barely breathe because he had asthma and emphysema and everyone cared about him because he was like that. He cared about everyone. And they cared about him.

The couple said there was virtually no crime in the rural town except for the occasional speeding ticket. They always left the door open until the night of the massacre.

“Not even when I go to town, I don’t lock my door,” Sharon Works said. “But now I have to find the key to my house. I never used to lock the doors and no one here until this happened.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the flag above the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa would be flown at half-mast to honor the victims.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, tragedies like these have become all too common. Saskatchewanians and Canadians will do what we always do in times of hardship and anguish, we will be there for each other,” said Trudeau.



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