Myles Sanderson: Saskatchewan mass stabbing suspect still at large as Canadian police expand search

The assaults on Sunday, which spanned 13 different crime scenes in the James Smith Cree Nation and a nearby rural village, left 10 people dead and 18 others injured.

Three people remain in critical condition, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said in a statement on Tuesday, while seven are stable. Another seven have been discharged, the authority said.

Police have not released information on the victims’ identities, but said they included men and women in different age groups, with the youngest in their early 20s.

Shortly after the stabbings, authorities identified brothers Myles and Damien Sanderson as suspects.

Myles Sanderson remains at large after Damien Sanderson was found dead a day after the attacks with injuries that were not believed to be self-inflicted, police said, without elaborating.

Police have warned that Sanderson may be injured, but he is still considered “armed and dangerous” and should not be approached. He is wanted on a warrant for three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and breaking and entering into a residence.

While police on Monday said they were operating under the impression that Sanderson was in the city of Regina, which is more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the James Smith Cree Nation, they no longer believed he was still there, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said Tuesday.

“Today we’ve received information that is leading us to believe he may no longer be in this community… although we don’t know his whereabouts, we are still looking not only within the City of Regina, but expanded into the province either,” Bray said.

Some of the victims were apparently targeted, police say

It remains unclear what motivated the violence and how or whether the brothers knew any of the victims.

Some were apparently targeted while others may have been attacked randomly, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said in a Monday briefing.

It’s also unknown if the brothers carried out the attacks at the same time, according to Blackmore.

The first stabbing was reported on the James Smith Cree Nation at 5:40 am local time. Minutes later, several more calls came in about stabbings at other locations, police said.

1 suspect in mass stabbing in Canada found dead, the other is still missing

The nation has a population of around 3,400 people with about 1,800 members who live on the reservation, according to its website.

By 9:45 am, authorities were reporting victims in multiple locations, including one in the village of Weldon.

While the police haven’t released the names of those killed, one was identified as Gloria Burns, a first responder, according to Reuters.

Burns was responding to a crisis call when she was caught up in the violence and killed, her brother Darryl Burns told Reuters, although the agency did not say if the call was related to the stabbings.

“She was butchered,” her brother Ivor Burns said to Reuters.

The discovery of Damien Sanderson’s body a day after the attacks also raised questions about his brother’s involvement in his death. But the police said Monday that it was unclear if Myles Sanderson was involved.

“It is an investigative avenue that we are following up on, but we can’t say that definitively at this point,” Blackmore said.

The suspect had a ‘lengthy’ criminal history and was released by the parole board

Myles Sanderson is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest.

Myles Sanderson was described as being approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing about 240 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Police on Tuesday released an updated photo of him.

Blackmore previously said that Sanderson had warrants out for his arrest before the stabbings.

“Myles’ record dates back quite a number of years and it includes both property and personal crimes,” Blackmore said, without elaborating on the alleged crimes.

“His actions have shown that he is violent and so we’re continuing to emphasize for people to remain vigilant,” Blackmore added.

Sanderson was granted statutory release by the Parole Board of Canada, according to a ruling made on February 1, 2022.

Statutory release is a presumptive release by law that allows an offender to serve part of their sentence in the community under direct supervision, according to the board. By Canadian law, the Correctional Service of Canada must release most offenders with supervision after they have served two-thirds of their sentence, if they have not already been granted parole, except for those serving a life sentence.

The board said in the ruling that it did not believe Sanderson would present a risk to the public if released. The decision did note his long criminal history and that he was assessed by a psychologist for a “moderate risk of violence.”

“Your criminal history is very concerning, including the use of violence and weapons related to your index offenses, and your history of domestic violence which victimized family, including your children, and non-family,” the ruling states.

In a statement, the Parole Board said it “extends its thoughts to the victims, their families and all those who have been impacted as a result of these senseless and horrific acts of violence.”

Citing the Privacy Act, the board said it could not discuss specifics of an offender’s case.

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