WELDON, SASKATCHEWAN (AP) – Canadian police hunted for the remaining suspect in the stabbing deaths of 10 people in an Indigenous community and nearby town in the province of Saskatchewan after finding the body of his brother amid a massive manhunt for the pair.
Damien Sanderson, 31, was found dead on Monday near the stabbing sites and authorities believe his brother and fellow suspect, Myles Sanderson, 30, is injured, on the run and likely in the provincial capital of Regina, said police chief Evan Bray. The series of stabbings also wounded 18 people.
RCMP Commanding Officer Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said authorities are not sure of the cause of death yet but the injuries were not self-inflicted.
Damien Sanderson’s “body was located outdoors in a heavily grassed area in proximity to a house that was being examined. We can confirm he has visible injuries”, said Blackmore.
Asked if Myles Sanderson was responsible for his brother’s death, Blackmore said police are investigating that possibility, but “we can’t say that definitively at this point in time.”
Leaders of the James Smith Cree Nation, where most of the stabbing attacks took place, blamed the killings on the drug and alcohol abuse plaguing the community, which they said was a legacy of the colonisation of Indigenous people.
James Smith Cree Nation resident Darryl Burns and his brother, Ivor Wayne Burns, said their sister, Gloria Lydia Burns, was a first responder who was killed while trying responding to a call. Burns said his 62-year-old sister was on a crisis response team.
“She went on a call to a house and she got caught up in the violence,” he said. “She was there to help. She was a hero.”
He blamed drugs and pointed to colonisation for the rampant drug and alcohol use on reserves.