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One brother found dead while the other was on the run; Canadian police searching for a suspect

Investigators gather outside the scene of a stabbing in Weldon, Saskatchewan (September 4, 2022)

Photo: AP

One of the suspects in the stabbing deaths of 10 people in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan has been found dead and his injuries were not self-inflicted, police said on Monday as they continued the search for a second suspect.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead and they believe his brother, Myles Sanderson, 30, was injured and on the run.

While Damien’s body was found near the stabbing sites, they believe Myles is in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan.

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Her body was found outside in a heavily grassed area near a house that was being examined. We can confirm that he has visible injuries. These injuries do not appear to be self-inflicted at this point,” said Assistant Commissioner to RCMP Commander Rhonda Blackmore.

The discovery of the body came on the second day of a massive manhunt for the couple, who are suspected of carrying out a series of stabbings in an indigenous community and a nearby town, which also left 18 injured . These are the deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

Authorities said some of the victims were targeted and others appeared to have been randomly selected from James Smith’s Cree Nation and the Saskatchewan town of Weldon. They gave no motive for the crimes, but a senior Aboriginal leader suggested that drugs were somehow involved.

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Although they believe Myles is in Regina, about 335 kilometers (210 miles) south of where the stabbings took place, authorities have issued alerts across Canada’s three vast prairie provinces , which also includes Manitoba and Alberta, and contacted US border officials.

With one suspect still at large, fear gripped working-class rural communities in Saskatchewan, surrounded by farmland terrorized by crime. A witness who said he lost family members described seeing people with bloody wounds scattered throughout the native reservation.

No one in this town will ever sleep again. They are going to be terrified to open their door, said Ruby Works, who also lost a loved one and lives in Weldon, which has around 200 residents and is home to many pensioners.

As Labor Day weekend drew to a close on Monday, police urged Saskatchewan residents returning from trips to check for suspicious activity around their homes before entering.

Arrest warrants were issued for the pair of suspects and both men had faced at least one count each of murder and attempted murder. Further charges were expected.

Police gave few details about the men. Last May, Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers released a wanted list that included Myles Sanderson, writing that he was unlawfully at large.

As the manhunt continued, police also issued a province-wide alert for suspects in a shooting at Witchekan Lake First Nation.

Officials said the shooting was not believed to be related to the stabbings, but such alerts are unusual and the fact that a second occurred when authorities were already scouring Saskatchewan for the stabbing suspects was outstanding.

The stabbing was one of the deadliest massacres in Canada, where such crimes are less common than in the United States. The deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history occurred in 2020, when a man disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires across New Brunswick province. -Scotland, killing 22 people. In 2019, a man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto.

Lethal mass stabbings are rarer than mass shootings, but have occurred around the world. In 2014, 29 people were slashed and stabbed to death at a train station in the city of Kunming in southwest China.

In 2016, a massive knife attack at a facility for the mentally disabled in Sagamihara, Japan, left 19 people dead. A year later, three men kill eight people in a vehicle and attack with a knife at London Bridge.

Canadian police received their first call about a stabbing at 5:40 a.m. Sunday, and within minutes heard of several more. In total, dead or injured people were found at 13 different locations on the sparsely populated reservation and in the city, Blackmore said. The James Smith Cree Nation is approximately 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Weldon.

She could not provide a motive, but the leader of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations suggested the stabbings could be drug-related.

This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we call on all authorities to follow the direction of Chiefs and Councils and their members to create safer and healthier communities for our people,” said Chief Bobby Cameron.

As the manhunt spread, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray urged anyone with information to come forward.

Bray said they had received credible information that they were in Regina and he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that following a very aggressive investigation police believed they were still in the town.

Elected leaders from the three communities that make up the James Smith Cree Nation have declared a local state of emergency.

Chakastaypasin chief Calvin Sanderson, who is apparently unrelated to the suspects, said everyone was affected by the tragic events.

They were our parents, our friends,” Sanderson said of the victims. It’s pretty awful.

Among the 10 killed was Lana Head, who is the former girlfriend of Michael Brett Burns and the mother of their two daughters.

“It’s crazy how prison, drugs and alcohol can destroy many lives,” Burns told the Indigenous Peoples Television Network. I am hurt for all this loss.

Burns then posted on Facebook that there were dead and injured all over the reservation, making it look like “a war zone”.

The look in their eyes could not express the pain and suffering of all who were assaulted, he posted.

Weldon residents identified one of the dead as Wes Petterson, a retired widower who made coffee every morning at the senior citizens’ centre. He enjoyed gardening, picking berries, canning and making jam and cakes, recall William Works, 47, and his mother, Sharon Works, 64.

He would give you the shirt off his back if he could, said William Works, describing his neighbor as a kind old man and his community first.

Sharon Works was baffled: I don’t understand why they would target someone like him anyway, because he was just a poor helpless little man, 100 pounds drenched. And he could barely breathe because he had asthma and emphysema and everyone cared about him because he was like that. He cared about everyone. And they cared about him.

The couple said there was virtually no crime in the rural town except for the occasional speeding ticket. They always left the door open until the night of the massacre.

Even when I go into town, I don’t lock my door, said Sharon Works. But now I have to find the key to my house. I never used to lock the doors and no one here until this happened.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the flag above the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa would be flown at half-mast to honor the victims.

Unfortunately, in recent years, such tragedies have become all too common. Saskatchewanians and Canadians will do what we always do in difficult and anxious times, we will be there for each other,” Trudeau said.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.