Canadian police hunt for remaining suspect in stabbing deaths of 10

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By AP  with Euronews
Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks next to images of Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson during a press conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. Sept 4, 2022.
Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks next to images of Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson during a press conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. Sept 4, 2022.   -  Copyright  Michael Bell/The Canadian Press via AP

Canadian police are hunting for the remaining suspect in the stabbing deaths of 10 people in an Indigenous community and nearby town in the province of Saskatchewan, after finding the body of his brother.

Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead Monday near the crime scenes and authorities believe his brother and fellow suspect, Myles Sanderson, 30, is injured, on the run and likely in the provincial capital of Regina, said police chief Evan Bray.

The series of stabbings also wounded 18 people.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commanding Officer Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said authorities are not yet sure of the cause of death but that the injuries were not self-inflicted.

Damien Sanderson’s “body was located outdoors in a heavily grassed area in proximity to a house that was being examined. We can confirm he has visible injuries,” said Blackmore.

Asked if Myles Sanderson was responsible for his brother’s death, Blackmore said police are investigating that possibility, but “we can’t say that definitively at this point in time.″

Police in Saskatchewan got their first call about the stabbings at 5:40 am on Sunday, and within minutes heard about several more. In all, dead or wounded people were found at 13 different locations on the sparsely populated reserve and in the town, Blackmore said.

Leaders of the James Smith Cree Nation, where most of the stabbing attacks took place, blamed the killings on the drug and alcohol abuse plaguing the community, which they said was a legacy of the colonisation of Indigenous people.

James Smith Cree Nation resident Darryl Burns and his brother, Ivor Wayne Burns, said their sister, Gloria Lydia Burns, was a first responder who was killed while responding to a call.

“She went on a call to a house and she got caught up in the violence,” he said. “She was there to help. She was a hero.”

Ivor Wayne Burns blamed drugs for his sister’s death and said the suspect brothers should not be hated.

“We have to forgive them boys,” he said. “When you are doing hard drugs, when you are doing coke, and when you are doing heroin and crystal meth and those things, you are incapable of feeling. You stab somebody and you think it’s funny. You stab them again and you laugh.”

“This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we demand all authorities to take direction from the chiefs and councils and their membership to create safer and healthier communities for our people,” said Chief Bobby Cameron.

Authorities believe Myles Sanderson is in Regina, about 335 kilometres south of where the stabbings occurred, but have issued alerts in Canada’s three vast prairie provinces and have contacted US border officials.

The manhunt entered its third day Tuesday.

The recent stabbing attack was among the deadliest mass killings in Canadian history. The deadliest gun rampage in Canada happened in 2020, when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.

In 2019, a man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto.