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Myles Sanderson arrested and now deceased

Sunday, 04 September 2022. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Myles Sanderson arrested and now deceased
Updated Sept. 7 at 11 p.m.

Myles Sanderson, prime suspect in a series of stabbings that left 10 dead and 18 injured, died shortly after being arrested this afternoon.

Rhonda Blackmore, Saskatchewan RCMP commanding officer, said in a press conference that the manner of his death wasn't something she could speak to.

"That's going to be part of the autopsy that will be conducted."

The four-day manhunt for Myles Sanderson ended at 3:35 p.m. when the wanted man was apprehended near Rosthern, Sask.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Wakaw RCMP received a report of a break-and-enter in progress northeast of the community.

Myles Sanderson, armed with a knife, was said to be outside a residence. The homeowner was not harmed in the incident but a truck was stolen.

An emergency alert was issued providing the licence plate number and a description of the stolen vehicle. Area residents were advised to seek shelter and to use caution letting people in.

More than 20 sightings of the vehicle were received by the Saskatchewan Divisional Operations Communication Centre in the 45 minutes following the alert.

Blackmore said a Rosthern RCMP officer in an unmarked vehicle spotted the stolen truck travelling west towards Rosthern on Highway 1 at a speed of 150 kilometres per hour.

"At approximately 3:30 p.m., the suspect vehicle was seen travelling south on Highway 11, south of Rosthern," she said.

"To ensure the safety of drivers on the highway, the vehicle was directed off the road and into a nearby ditch. Police officers surrounded the vehicle and, through verbal identification, confirmed the identity of the driver to be Myles Sanderson." 

After four days on the run, Myles Sanderson was arrested and taken into custody. A knife was found in the vehicle.

At the time, he was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of break-and-enter. Additional charges were anticipated, and he was unlawfully at large for previous serious crimes.

"Shortly after his arrest, he went into medical distress," said Blackmore. "Nearby EMS were called by police to attend the scene and he was transported to a hospital in Saskatoon. He was pronounced deceased at the hospital."

The investigation following the Sunday morning murders involved more than 160 Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario RCMP and municipal-partner agency employees (both police officers and civilians).

Blackmore said work on the investigation will not stop.

"We're hoping to piece together the timeline of where he was since Sunday," she said. 

"His motivation may, at this time and forever, only be known to Myles."

At 5:40 Sunday morning, the Saskatchewan Divisional Operations Communication Centre received a report of a stabbing on the James Smith Cree Nation.

Within minutes, the DOCC received multiple calls advising of additional stabbings in other locations in the community, with suspects identified as Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson.

Nine people were murdered on James Smith Cree Nation and one more person in the nearby community of Weldon.

Eighteen others were injured in the large-scale stabbing incident that spanned 13 sites. RCMP believe some victims were targeted, while others were attacked randomly.

Damien Sanderson's body was found Monday in a heavily grassed area near one of the crime scenes on James Smith Cree Nation, bringing the number of deceased to 11. 

On Monday, Commanding Officer Blackmore said, "
We can confirm he [Damien] has visible injuries, not believed to be self-inflected at this point." 

"We're still putting together parts of the investigation that will speak to Damien's cause of death and there are aspects, with Myles being deceased, that we may not know how that incident unfolded between the two of them, but we're certainly looking at all avenues there," she elaborated in Wednesday's press conference.

Damien was also facing first-degree murder, attempted murder and break-and-enter charges and Blackmore confirmed that he remains a suspect at this time.

Sincere condolences are extended to family and friends of the deceased and injured, and to the communities affected by this tragedy.

Victims who died are:

Bonnie Burns

Bonnie Burns, 48
James Smith Cree Nation

Carol Burns

Carol Burns, 46
James Smith Cree Nation

No Photo

Earl Burns, 66
James Smith Cree Nation

Gregory Burns

Gregory Burns, 28
James Smith Cree Nation

Lydia Gloria Burns

Lydia Gloria Burns, 61
James Smith Cree Nation

Thomas Burns

Thomas Burns, 23
James Smith Cree Nation

Christian Head

Christian Head, 54
James Smith Cree Nation

Lana Head

Lana Head, 49
James Smith Cree Nation

Wesley Petterson

Wesley Petterson, 78

Robert Sanderson

Robert Sanderson, 49
James Smith Cree Nation

Of the 18 injured victims, one is a young teen and the others are adults, both males and females. Their names will not be released.

Photos were provided to RCMP by family members and shared to news partners with permission.