Canada’s manhunt ends with the deaths of two suspects » Capital News

Rosthern (Canada) (AFP), September 7 – A multi-day search for the second man suspected of carrying out a series of deadly stabbings in a remote Indigenous community in western Canada ended on Wednesday, with the 32-year-old dead after being arrested , police said.

Deputy Federal Policing Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore told a news conference that Myles Sanderson, who along with his brother is suspected of killing 10 people and injuring 18 on Sunday, ‘has fallen into medical distress’ shortly after being arrested in the province of Saskatchewan.

She added that he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, but gave no further details on the circumstances.

On Monday, his 31-year-old brother, Damien Sanderson, was found dead in a grassy field in the Cree community.

Authorities said he was likely killed by his older brother, who remained at large until his arrest near the town of Rosthern in Saskatchewan – about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of the where the stabbings took place.

Blackmore said that with both brothers now dead, “we may never understand (their) motivation”.

The manhunt spanned three provinces and started in Saskatchewan’s provincial capital Regina, 300 kilometers south, then returned to James Smith’s Cree Nation – in response to reported sightings .

An AFP reporter at the scene near Rosthern on Wednesday saw several police cars surrounding a white pick-up truck along a motorway.

An hour before the arrest, police issued an alert for a knife-wielding man in a nearby stolen white Chevrolet Avalanche, linking the stabbing case and urging residents to take shelter on square.

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Police vehicles are seen next to a pickup truck at the scene where suspect Myles Sanderson was arrested, along Highway 11 in Saskatchewan, Canada, ending a massive manhunt © AFP / LARS HAGBERG

Blackmore said police, after receiving an emergency call about the theft, spotted the speeding vehicle and “steered it off the road and into a nearby ditch”.

“He was arrested by the police and taken into custody,” she said. “A knife was inside the vehicle.”

It was the dramatic end to a four-day manhunt across the vast prairie region.

It also offered relief to a nation afflicted by one of modern Canada’s deadliest incidents of mass violence.

Map locating the town of Weldon in Canada and the native community of the James Smith Cree Nation, where a number of people were killed in stabbing attacks on September 4 © AFP / Valentin RAKOVSKY

“Our province breathes a collective sigh of relief that Miles Sanderson is no longer at large,” Blackmore said, adding that now the families of the victims and the community “can begin to heal.”

– ‘Senseless act’ –

Myles Sanderson had a history of explosive violence that led to 59 previous convictions and was also wanted for violating parole in May after serving part of a sentence for assault and robbery.

Mark Arcand, brother of Cree Nation stabbing victim James Smith, Bonnie Burns, with a photo of him and his sister, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, September 7, 2022 © AFP / Cole BURSTON

But with no known motive for the latest attacks, relatives of the victims spoke out earlier Wednesday about their “nightmare” and called on authorities to respond.

Mark Arcand said the murders which claimed the lives of his sister Bonnie Burns, 48, and son Gregory Burns, 28, were a “horrific and senseless act”.

“We are broken,” he said, describing emotions of anger and sadness. “I still feel like it’s a nightmare. It doesn’t seem real.

“How did this happen to our family? Why did this happen? We don’t have answers,” he told a press conference. “We just know that our family members were killed in their own homes, in their backyards.”

Arcand recounted how his sister rushed out of her home to help her son, who was bleeding in their driveway after being stabbed multiple times.

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The James Smith Cree Nation Aboriginal community in the province of Saskatchewan © AFP / Cole BURSTON

“She was stabbed twice and she died right next to him,” he said. “She was trying to protect her son.”

A neighbor ran to try to stop the attackers, but she too was killed, he said.

Family and community, Arcand added, have “a steep hill to climb, and we will climb it together, united.”

The coroner has released the names of the deceased victims – six men and four women aged between 23 and 78.

All but one were members of the Cree community. The other was a widower who lived with his adult grandson in the nearby town of Weldon.

Seventeen adults and a young teenager were also injured in the attacks, police said. Among them was another son of Bonnie Burns who was lacerated in the neck.

Ten people remain hospitalized, including two in critical condition, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Seven others were released.

A swarm of police vehicles swarms the scene on Highway 11 in Saskatchewan where fugitive Myles Sanderson was arrested. He is the second and final suspect in a stabbing attack that left 10 dead and 18 injured in a remote Indigenous community on Sunday © AFP / LARS HAGBERG

Police believe some of the victims were targeted and others were randomly attacked.

The gruesome attack follows several recent mass shootings across Canada. A gunman posing as a police officer killed 22 people in Nova Scotia in April 2020, two years after a van driver killed 11 pedestrians in Toronto.

Another shooter killed six worshipers at a Quebec mosque in January 2017.

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