Saskatchewan stabbings: 1 suspect dead, 1 remains at large, police say

REGINA, Saskatchewan — Officials with the Royal Canadian Mountain Police confirmed early Monday evening that one of two suspects in the Sunday stabbing spree that left 10 dead and at least 18 wounded in Saskatchewan has been found dead on the James Smith Cree Nation.

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Authorities said they found Damien Sanderson, 31, dead while his brother, 30-year-old Myles Sanderson, remained on the run.

Update 1:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 6: Police said Tuesday afternoon that authorities are investigating reports of a possible sighting of Myles Sanderson on the James Smith Cree Nation.

In an alert on social media, they warned people in the area to shelter in place.

Update 10:14 p.m. EDT Sept. 5: Myles Sanderson, 30, remained on the run late Monday and is believed to be in Saskatchewan’s capital of Regina.

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray did confirm that Myles Sanderson and 31-year-old Damien Sanderson, who was found dead in an apparent homicide earlier in the day, are brothers, The Associated Press reported.

The pair are suspected of carrying out one of the deadliest attacks in Canada’s history on Sunday, which left 10 dead and 18 wounded on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the town of Weldon. Neither of those tallies include the Sanderson brothers.

Authorities have said some of the victims in the stabbing spree were targeted and others appeared to have been chosen at random. While no official motive has been released, senior Indigenous leaders suggested to the AP that drugs were somehow involved.

James Smith Cree Nation resident Darryl Burns and his brother, Ivor Wayne Burns, confirmed to the news outlet that their sister, Gloria Lydia Burns, was a first responder who was killed while responding to one of Sunday’s stabbing calls.

“She went on a call to a house and she got caught up in the violence,” he told the AP, adding, “She was there to help. She was a hero.”

Meanwhile, Weldon residents have identified one of the victims as 77-year-old Wes Petterson, the Toronto Star reported.

According to the AP, the deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history happened in 2020, when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22 people. In 2019, a man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto.

Update 6:07 p.m. EDT Sept. 5: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan have confirmed that one of the two suspects they are seeking in connection with a fatal Sunday stabbing spree has been found dead, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP, said that Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead Monday evening with wounds that did not appear to be self-inflicted.

The second suspect, 30-year-old Myles Sanderson, has not yet been located.

RCMP officials confirmed to Toronto Star that Damien Sanderson was found outdoors on the James Smith Cree Nation in a grassy area with “visible injuries” not believed to be self-inflicted.

Blackmore, who confirmed that Myles Sanderson remained at large and may be injured, told the newspaper that investigators have not yet determined if Myles Sanderson was involved in Damien Sanderson’s death.

Update 3:29 p.m. EDT Sept. 5: Canadian authorities have charged two men in connection with a Sunday stabbing spree that left 10 dead and 18 wounded across 13 different locations.

Initial reports indicated only 15 people had been injured in the attacks.

According to police, suspects Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, remained at large late Monday afternoon, CBC reported.

Myles Sanderson faces three counts of first-degree murder, while Damien Sanderson is charged with one count of first-degree murder. Both men also face attempted murder and break-and-enter charges, with additional charges expected as the investigation continues, the network reported.

Meanwhile, police in Saskatoon confirmed to the CBC that they’ve been searching for Myles Sanderson since May, when he stopped meeting with his parole officer and was classified as “unlawfully at large.” He was paroled from a five-year federal sentence for assault, robbery, mischief and uttering threats before vanishing, CBC reported.

“To the people of Saskatchewan and beyond, please be assured that we are using every human, investigational and technological resource we have available to locate and arrest the persons responsible for this tragedy and to ensure your safety,” Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, CBC identified Lana Head, 49, as one of the victims from James Smith Cree Nation crime scene. Head’s former partner, Michael Brett Burns, told the network that Head worked as a security guard at Northern Lights Casino and was also a commissionaire officer. She is survived by two daughters: Sable, 31, and Sage, 30.

Original report: Police in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan issued warnings from Alberta to Manitoba on Sunday afternoon, following reports of multiple stabbings that left at least 10 dead and more than a dozen people wounded following a series of attacks across 13 different locations, The Associated Press confirmed.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a 3:40 p.m. CDT press conference Sunday that in addition to the fatalities at least 15 people had been hospitalized in connection with the attacks.

“There may be additional injured victims who transported themselves to various hospitals,” Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP, stated.

According to the CBC, Mounties received a report that the two suspects, identified as Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson, were last seen on Sunday at around 11:20 a.m. in Regina, Saskatchewan. They are believed to be driving a black Nissan Rogue with Saskatchewan license plate 119 MPI, but they may have changed vehicles, police said.

Blackmore also indicated that some of the victims may have been targeted by the suspects, while others appear to have been attacked at random, the AP reported.

The suspects have not been sighted since lunchtime in Saskatchewan, police confirmed.

Damien Sanderson, 31, is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 155 pounds, while Myles Sanderson, 30, is described as 6-feet, 1 inch and 200 pounds. Both men have black hair and brown eyes, the AP reported.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.