By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The fugitive’s brother and fellow suspect, Damien Sanderson, 30, was found dead Monday near the stabbing sites in Canada’s western province of Saskatchewan.
Myles Sanderson’s capture ends a chase that spanned three provinces and prompted questions about why he was granted prison parole despite a history of violence. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the stabbings in Saskatchewan “shocking and heartbreaking.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Wednesday that Sanderson, 32, was taken into custody in the town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, at around 15:30 local time.
His arrest followed appeals from his parents. “Myles, my boy, turn yourself in. Please. You can do this,” his mother told Canadian broadcaster CBC. “Come back. Turn yourself in. Do the right thing.”
Sanderson’s father also called on his son to surrender. “Myles, please, please turn yourself in. We don’t want no more hurt. I don’t want nobody hurt anymore… please, my son. I love you. Turn yourself in. Be safe,” he said.
Their appeals apparently contributed to his arrest. He now faces multiple murder charges for his role in a knife attack that devastated the Indigenous community of James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon.
While motives are still being investigated, senior Indigenous leaders suggested drugs were somehow involved. Authorities have said some of the victims were targeted, and others appeared to have been chosen randomly.
Sanderson’s arrest ends one of the most violent episodes against an Indigenous community in Canada’s recent history. Ten victims remain in hospital, three of them in critical condition, authorities said.
With the suspects no longer on the run, police released the list of those killed in the September 4 stabbings in Saskatchewan.
Nine of the ten victims are from James Smith Cree Nation, an Indigenous community with nearly 3,500 members.
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 to respond 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 also blamed drugs and the past colonization of Indigenous people for the rampant drug and alcohol use on reserves.
“We had a murder-suicide here three years ago. My granddaughter and her boyfriend. Last year we had a double homicide. Now this year, we have 10 more that have passed away and all because of drugs and alcohol,” Darryl Burns said.
One of the 10 killed victims, Wesley Petterson, is from Weldon, a quiet farming town nearby of about 200 people. Locals described Petterson, the oldest of the victims at 78 years old, as a “lovely” man devoted to his community.
Neighbor Ruby Works said she had been left devastated by his death. “I couldn’t even catch my breath,” she told CBC, saying she was still in shock.
“If someone needed a hand, he helped. He was a kind-hearted man,” Works added about the man she had known since childhood and had looked on as an uncle. “He didn’t deserve this. Both communities are destroyed. All lives are shattered.”