Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators said there had been reports that Myles Sanderson was suspected may have been spotted at James Smith’s Cree Nation on Tuesday. Police advised those in the area to take cover and not approach him.
The potential sighting comes two days after a wave of violence spanned 13 crime scenes in an Indigenous community and a nearby rural village, authorities said.
Less than three hours after the first attack was reported, authorities identified the suspects as Sanderson, 30, and his brother Damien Sanderson.
On Monday morning, 31-year-old Damien Sanderson was found dead on James Smith’s Cree Nation in a “very grassy area” near a house, police said.
His injuries are not believed to be self-inflicted, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said, adding that the exact cause of death would be determined by the Saskatchewan Coroner’s Office.
Myles Sanderson is considered “armed and dangerous”, Blackmore said. He has a “long criminal record” and had warrants for his arrest before the stabbings, she said.
Police warned Sanderson could also be injured and may try to seek medical attention, but did not provide further details on why they believe he could be injured.
“We have good reason to believe he suffered injuries. We don’t know exactly what those injuries are,” Blackmore said.
Although still at large, Sanderson has been charged with first degree murder, attempted murder and breaking and entering a residence.
One of the victims has been identified as Gloria Burns, a first responder, according to Reuters. She was responding to a crisis call when she was caught up in the violence and killed, her brother Darryl Burns told Reuters, although the agency did not say whether the call was related to the stabbing.
“She was slaughtered,” her brother Ivor Burns told Reuters.
The suspect had been released by the parole board
Sanderson had previously been granted statutory release by the Parole Board of Canada, pursuant to a decision issued on February 1, 2022. The board said in the decision that it did not believe Sanderson would pose a risk to the public s he was released.
“The Commission is of the view that you will not pose an undue risk to society if you are released on statutory release and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen. “, we read in the decision.
The decision noted his long criminal history and that he had been assessed by a psychologist for “moderate risk of violence”.
“Your criminal history is of great concern, including the use of violence and weapons related to your index offenses, and your history of domestic violence which victimized the family, including your children, and not the family,” says the decision.
“You are assessed as a moderate risk for violence and domestic violence by the psychologist. Although your behavior in police custody did not demonstrate significant concerns, there were a few minor incidents. …”
According to the Parole Board of Canada, statutory release is a deemed release under the law that allows an offender to serve part of their sentence in the community under direct supervision. Statutory release is intended to provide the offender with structure and support prior to the end of their sentence to improve their chances of successful reintegration into the community.
According to Canadian law, the Correctional Service of Canada must release most offenders under supervision after they have served two-thirds of their sentence, if they have not already been granted parole. Offenders serving a life sentence are not eligible for statutory release.
On Monday, Saskatchewan police confirmed that Sanderson stopped meeting with his parole officer in May, in violation of his parole conditions.
The police did not establish a reason
The suspects are believed to have been traveling in a black Nissan Rogue with a Saskatchewan license plate that was seen with two people inside on Sunday in Regina, a city more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the Cree Nation of James Smith, according to police.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said that while the seal on the car was already “expired”, it was still the most recent reliable information available to police.
Blackmore said police have not established a motive for the attacks and there is still no word on what type of weapon was used. “It takes a significant amount of resources to process 13 crime scenes,” she said.
“There’s a lot of anxiety in our province right now in our communities and across the country,” Bray said. “And so we have to start the healing process and until we can make that arrest that’s not going to happen.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the stabbings “horrific and heartbreaking”.
“I am shocked and devastated by today’s horrific attacks on the Cree Nation of James Smith and Weldon, Saskatchewan, which claimed the lives of 10 people and injured many more,” Trudeau said in a statement. a statement.
Few details have been released about the brothers. Myles Sanderson, who remains at large, is approximately 6ft 1in and weighs 240lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes.
It remains unclear whether he was involved in Damien Sanderson’s death, police say.
“It’s an investigative lead that we’re following, but we can’t say definitively at this point,” Blackmore said.
How the attacks unfolded
Investigators were trying to piece together the order in which the attacks took place on Monday. Blackmore said the stabbings didn’t necessarily happen in the order the calls came in and it’s unclear if the brothers are believed to have carried out the attacks at the same time.
The first stabbing was reported on James Smith’s Cree Nation at 5:40 a.m. local time, with several more calls coming in minutes later about stabbings at other locations, police said.
As of 9:45 a.m., authorities reported casualties at several locations, including one in the village of Weldon, and that some victims may have been attacked indiscriminately.
A total of 28 people were injured, 10 of whom died.
Helicopter crews transported some victims to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon while others were transported to local hospitals by land ambulances. Police said there may be other injured who have gone to the various hospitals.
The victims included men and women of different age groups, some of whom were apparently targeted while others may have been randomly attacked, according to Blackmore.
Police did not release information about the conditions and identities of the victims, but said the youngest was in her early 20s.
About three hours after the first stabbing was reported, authorities identified the suspects as the Sanderson brothers and told the public they were driving the black Nissan Rogue SUV.
Around noon, an alert was sent that the suspect vehicle was seen by a driver on Arcola Avenue in Regina and told the Regina public to shelter in place.
It was not until the next morning that Damien Sanderson was found dead.
CNN’s Amy Simonson, Caroll Alvarado, Michelle Watson, Chuck Johnston and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.