Final suspect in Canada mass stabbings dies from self-inflicted injuries after being run off the road by police

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The final suspect in the recent mass stabbings in and around a Canadian reserve has died from self-inflicted injuries, an official has said.

Myles Sanderson, 32, was found near the town of Rosthern, in the central Saskatchewan province, as officers responded to reports of a stolen vehicle being driven by a man armed with a knife, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said.

Officers rammed Sanderson’s vehicle off the road into a ditch, and he was taken into custody, but went into what a spokeswoman described as “medical distress”.

This combination of images shown during a press conference at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "F" Division headquarters in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, shows Damien Sanderson, left, and Myles Sanderson. Authorities identified the pair, who are presently at large, as suspects in a series of stabbings in two communities in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan that left multiple people dead and others wounded. 
Royal Canadian Mounted Police/AP
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Myles Sanderson had been fleeing from police at almost 100mph in a stolen vehicle when he was arrested. Pic: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Saskatchewan

He was taken to hospital, but died shortly afterwards.

“All life-saving measures that we are capable of were taken at that time,” commander of the RCMP, assistant commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, said.

She gave no details on the cause of death, but an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mr Sanderson died of self-inflicted injuries, without giving any further details.

Video and photos from the scene showed a white SUV off to the side of the road with police cars all around.

More on Canada

Ten people were killed and 18 injured after the attacks in and around the James Smith Cree Nation, an indigenous community in the central Saskatchewan province, on Sunday.

Ten victims remain in hospital, three of them in a critical condition.

At a press conference confirming Myles Sanderson’s death, Ms Blackmore said she had been to visit James Smith Cree Nation, home to nine of the ten victims, and said many of them had “witnessed incredible trauma”.

Police and investigators gather at the scene where a stabbing suspect was arrested in Rosthern, Saskatchewan on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. Canadian police arrested Myles Sanderson, the second suspect in the stabbing deaths of multiple people in Saskatchewan, after a three-day manhunt that also yielded the body of his brother fellow suspect, Damien Sanderson.(Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Police and investigators gather at the scene where Sanderson was arrested

“Many people haven’t slept,” she said. “They told me, ‘every time I close my eyes, I hear noises’.

“I hope this gives them some sense of closure, and that they can rest easier tonight knowing Myles is no longer at large.

“I hope now they are able to start healing.”

Brian Burns, the husband of Bonnie Burns and father of 28 years old Gregory Burns, who were killed at James Smith Cree Nation, attends a news conference with photographs of them, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, September 7, 2022. REUTERS/Valerie Zink
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Brian Burns’ wife Bonnie and son Gregory were killed in the attacks

Hundreds of police officers undertook an extensive manhunt for suspects, Myles and his brother Damien Sanderson, who had fled the crime scenes.

Damien was found dead in a grassy area of James Smith Cree Nation on Monday, with injuries police said were not self-inflicted.

Myles Sanderson, who officers described as armed and dangerous, remained on the loose until Wednesday afternoon and police are investigating if he killed his brother.

The stabbing rampage on Sunday was one of the deadliest attacks in Canada’s modern history.

Police said some of the victims appeared to have been deliberately targeted, while others were attacked at random.

Officers have not revealed a possible motive, but a statement from an indigenous group from the province suggested the stabbings could be drug-related.

But Ms Blackmore said: “Unfortunately now that Myles is deceased we may never have an understanding as to that motivation.”

Annie Sanderson comforts her granddaughter, who was close with Gloria Lydia Burns, 62, who was killed on James Smith Cree Nation after a stabbing spree killed 10 people on the reserve and nearby town of Weldon, Saskatchewan, Canada. September 5, 2022. REUTERS/David Stobbe
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Friends of victims at James Smith Cree Nation console each other

Violating parole

Questions are beginning to be asked about why Myles Sanderson – with 59 convictions and a long history of violence – was out on the streets.

The 32-year-old was released by a parole board in February while serving a sentence of more than four 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.

Canadian public safety minister Marco Mendicino said there will be an investigation into the parole board’s assessment of Sanderson.

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