Canadian stabbing suspect: Key questions remain after Miles Sanderson’s death, police say responsible for death of 10 victims

Miles Sanderson died Wednesday after experiencing “medical distress” following his arrest, Rhonda Blackmore, aide to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of Saskatchewan, announced at a press conference. Song was found dead the day after the attack, police previously said.

Miles Sanderson has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and burglary, police said.

The death of a brother ends an exhaustive investigation into two suspects and leaves victims, loved ones and law enforcement with some key questions that remain unanswered. .

In response to a reporter’s question about whether Miles murdered the ten victims, Blackmore said, “The witness testimony we received indicates that Miles Sanderson was responsible. but she said an investigation was still underway to ascertain exactly who was involved.

While the full picture of the violent attack is forming, little is still clear about the relationship between the suspect and the victim, or the circumstances surrounding their deaths. , these details will never be fully revealed, investigators say.

The stabbing killed 10 victims and injured 18 others. All but one of the victims, James Smith, belonged to his Cree Native community, officials said. One of those killed was from the nearby town of Weldon.

Leaders of the James Smith Cree Nation declared a state of emergency on Sunday after being attacked, and police issued an emergency alert to warn people in Saskatchewan and neighboring states Manitoba and Alberta to stay in some communities. We urged people to take precautionary measures, including sheltering indoors.

The search for the suspect is over, but the investigator’s job isn’t over yet. A vast crime scene stretches across her dozen or more locations, as loved ones continue to search for answers as they seek to recover from their tragedy.

Here are the main questions that still remain.

What is the motive for the attack?

Police say some of the victims appeared to be targeted, while others were random, but it’s still unclear why the attacks were carried out.

“Unfortunately now that Miles is dead, we may never understand the motives for that,” Blackmore said Wednesday. did not.

Miles Sanderson had a long criminal record and had multiple arrest warrants issued prior to the stabbing incident, police said. He was granted legal release from prison by the Canadian Parole Board, according to a February 2022 ruling.

A ruling provided by the parole board to CNN said the parole board had determined that Sanderson “does not pose undue risk to society” if released on parole. It was assessed as having a “moderate risk of violence.”

Police confirmed Monday that Miles Sanderson violated the terms of his parole and stopped seeing parole officers in May.

How did the suspect die?

Since the brother is no longer alive, he said in response to a reporter’s question about how Damian Sanderson died, “We may never know how some things played out.

The day after the stabbing, Damian Sanderson Found dead in an overgrown area Near the home of James Smith Cree Nation, Blackmore said earlier. His injuries did not appear to be self-inflicted, she said.

Investigators say they are working to determine whether Miles Sanderson may have been involved in his brother’s death.

After Damien’s death, Miles Sanderson was on the run for two more days before police called 911 and arrested him.

One suspect killed in Canada mass murder, another missing

A break-in and break-in was reported near the town of Wakaw, about 60 miles southeast of the James Smith Cree Nation, around 2pm, police said. Officers received information that Sanderson was standing outside a home in the area and was armed with a knife. Investigators believe he had previously broken into a car and stolen a first aid kit, suggesting he needed medical assistance, she added.

Authorities said Sanderson stole a white Chevrolet truck and let the home owner escape unscathed.

After an emergency alert was issued to the public, police said they received more than 20 calls within an hour of reporting possible sightings of stolen trucks.

Around 3:30 p.m., the truck was spotted on Route 11 and a chase was made for the car, but it ended when the car was “guided off the road into a nearby ditch.” statementSanderson, who was in the truck, was arrested and a knife was found inside.
Police and investigators gather at the scene of Miles Sanderson's arrest on Wednesday.

Blackmore said Sanderson was in “medical distress” shortly after being taken into custody and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. She did not provide details about his cause of death.

An independent inquiry into the deaths in custody will be conducted and an autopsy will be conducted on both brothers, she said.

Did the suspect know the victim?

Investigators continue to work to identify any connections between the suspect and the victims, most of whom belonged to communities in the same small country.

Now that the Sanderson brothers can no longer do harm, Blackmore hopes the victims’ loved ones can head through the arduous process of recovery.

“I hope this brings them some sense of closure in that they can rest easy tonight knowing that Miles Sanderson is no longer a threat to them.” , it will be a very long and extensive (healing) process.Some of them have witnessed incredible trauma.”

The 10 victims were identified Wednesday by police and the Saskatchewan coroner’s office, ranging in age from 23 to 78.

Many of the victims shared the same last name, but officials declined to confirm. Six of the victims had the last name Burns, two had the last name Head, and one was a suspect in the attack. Same surname as first name.

Victims were identified 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
  • Wesley Peterson, 78 years old

Authorities say all the victims are from the James Smith Cree Nation, except for Peterson, who is from Weldon.

According to its website, about 1,800 members live on the reservation, and the country’s total population is about 3,400.

A woman cries at a memorial service for a stabbing victim in Saskatchewan, Canada.

At a press conference held Wednesday by the victim’s family, Saskatoon chief Mark Arkand identified Bonnie Burns as his sister and Gregory Burns as his son, saying another son was stabbed but survived. Stated.

“Our family wants us to move on, to heal, but to never forget and to carry love in our hearts,” Arcand said.

Lydia Gloria Burns, who was a first responder, died while responding to emergency calls on Sunday, her brother Darryl Burns told Reuters. I didn’t say whether I was.

“She was killed,” his brother Ivor Barnes told Reuters.

As of Wednesday afternoon, two of the surviving victims were hospitalized in critical condition, eight were in stable condition and the remaining seven were discharged. saskatchewan health department Confirmed.

Authorities said a teenager was among the 18 injured, but the names of the surviving victims have not been released.

CNN’s Teele Rebane, Jamiel Lynch, Michelle Watson, Cara Lynn Clarkson, Amir Vera, Andi Babineau, Jessica Prater, Tina Burnside, Eric Levenson, Nouran Salahieh, and Paula Newton contributed to this report.


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