The last suspect in a horrific stabbing spree that killed 10 and wounded 18 in western Canada is dead, with police hoping the stunning end to a gripping hunt that stretched right into a fourth day will bring some peace to victims’ families.
One official said Myles Sanderson, 32, died from self-inflicted injuries Wednesday after police forced the stolen automobile he was driving off a highway in Saskatchewan.
Other officials declined to debate how he died, but expressed relief the ultimate suspected killer was now not on the loose.
“This evening our province is respiratory a collective sigh of relief,” Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan, said at a news conference Wednesday night.
The opposite suspect, Sanderson’s 30-year-old brother, Damien Sanderson, was found dead Monday near the scene of the knife attacks inside and across the James Smith Cree First Nation reserve early Sunday. Each men were residents of the Indigenous reserve.
Blackmore said Myles Sanderson was cornered as police units responded to a report of a stolen vehicle being driven by a person armed with a knife. She said officers forced Sanderson’s vehicle off the road and right into a ditch. He was detained and a knife was found contained in the vehicle, she said.
Sanderson went into medical distress while in custody, Blackmore said. She said CPR was attempted on him before an ambulance arrived, and emergency medical personnel then took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“All life saving measures that we’re able to were taken at the moment,” she said.
Blackmore gave no details on the reason behind death. “I can’t speak to the particular manner of death,” she said.
But an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, earlier said Sanderson died of self-inflicted injuries, without giving any further details.
An independent investigation by members of Saskatchewan’s Serious Incident Response Team went to the arrest site and can review Sanderson’s death and police conduct.
His death got here two days after the body of Damien Sanderson was present in a field near the scene of the knife rampage. Police are investigating whether Myles Sanderson killed his brother.
Blackmore said that with each men dead, authorities will find it hard to determine what set off the rampage.
“Now that Myles is deceased we may never have an understanding of that motivation,” she said.
But she said she hoped the families of the stabbing victims will find some comfort that neither of the Sandersons stays a threat.
The stabbings raised questions of why Myles Sanderson — an ex-con with 59 convictions and an extended history of shocking violence — was out on the streets in the primary place.
He was released by a parole board in February while serving a sentence of over 4 years on charges that included assault and robbery. But he had been wanted by police since May, apparently for violating the terms of his release, though the small print weren’t immediately clear.
His long and lurid rap sheet also showed that seven years ago, he attacked and stabbed certainly one of the victims killed in Sunday’s stabbings, in response to court records.
The federal public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, has said there can be an investigation into the parole board’s assessment of Sanderson.