On Tuesday, residents of an Indigenous reservation in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan were on edge after police said they believed the suspect in a weekend stabbing rampage might be in the area.
Even when police concluded it was a false alarm and the culprit wasn’t in the area, residents remained on edge since they didn’t know where he was. An alert had been issued across the province.
The James Smith Cree First Nation had earlier issued a warning to its residents to remain indoors. An AP journalist witnessed panicked citizens fleeing the area as police blocked off streets.
On Monday, the body of the fugitive’s brother and co-defendant, Damien Sanderson, was discovered close to one of the stabbing scenes. The Sanderson brothers’ brother, Myles, is the suspect in a possible murder investigation. Ten people’s lives were taken, and 18 more were injured, by the brothers, according to the official tally.
Most of the stabbings occurred in the James Smith Cree Nation, and the leaders of that community have attributed the violence to the widespread drug and alcohol consumption that they say is a legacy of the colonization of Indigenous people.
Darryl Burns and his brother Ivor Wayne Burns, both residents of James Smith Cree Nation, have alleged that their sister Gloria Lydia Burns was a first responder who was slain on the job. Burns revealed that his sister, 62, worked for a disaster response organization.
He explained that while responding to a call at a residence, she was attacked. She was a willing and able aid. The term “hero” was coined to describe her.
He attributed the widespread drug and alcohol abuse on reserves to drugs and colonization.
Ivor Wayne Burns, the deceased’s brother, also said that drug use was to blame for his sister’s untimely demise, but he insisted that the brothers in question were not evil.
According to Blackmore, Myles Sanderson has a lengthy criminal history that includes violent offenses.
In August 2021, he was released from prison, but in November of same year, his freedom was revoked since he had lied about his ex-wife and their children living with him. At a hearing in February, the board canceled the suspension, but adding conditions to limit and monitor contact with the wife and his children.
The parole board’s evaluation of Myles Sanderson and the subsequent release are being investigated, according to Public Safety Minister Mendicino.
What Mendicino really wants to know is “why the choice was made” and “whether any mistakes were made during the process.” “An impartial investigation is required.”
Saying, “I’m quite worried with what occurred here,” he emphasized his alarm at the situation.
Despite the rarity of mass murder in Canada compared to the United States, the stabbing attack was one of the country’s deadliest. In 2020, a guy posing as a police officer killed 22 people across the province of Nova Scotia in the bloodiest gun spree in Canadian history. In 2019, a man drove a vehicle into a crowd of people in Toronto, killing 10 of them.
In contrast to mass shootings, deadly mass stabbings do occur occasionally. A train station in the city of Kunming, in southwest China, was the scene of a mass murder in 2014. Twenty-nine people were killed. In 2016, a mass stabbing at an institution for the mentally handicapped in Sagamihara, Japan, left 19 people dead. One year later, on June 3, 2017, three men killed eight people in a vehicle and stabbing attack on London Bridge.
In Saskatchewan, authorities received reports of multiple stabbings beginning at 5:40 a.m. on Sunday. According to Blackmore, there were 13 separate spots on the sparsely populated reserve and in the town where bodies or injured individuals were discovered. About 30 kilometers (20 miles) separate Weldon and the James Smith Cree Nation.
Weldon residents have named one of the victims as Wes Petterson, a retired widower who made his coffee every morning at the senior center. William Works, 47, and his mother Sharon Works, 64, recalled that he enjoyed gardening, gathering berries, preserving, and creating jam and cakes.
William Works remarked of his neighbor that “he would give you the shirt off his back if he could,” demonstrating that the man puts the needs of the neighborhood above his own.
Sharon Works wondered why someone would go for a man who weighed only 100 pounds when wet, saying, “He was just a sad, helpless little man. Asthma and emphysema made it difficult for him to breathe, yet because of his personality, he was still loved and cared for by all. As long as others were happy, he was happy. And they were concerned for him.”
Police Chief Evan Bray of Regina, Saskatchewan, had claimed as recently as Monday that authorities believed Sanderson to be in the city, but he changed his tune on Tuesday, claiming that new intelligence suggests Sanderson may have left Regina.
“Although we don’t know his locations we are continuing looking not just in the city of Regina but expanded throughout the province as well,” Bray added.