HomeWorld NewsCanadian mass stabbing suspect arrested

Canadian mass stabbing suspect arrested

By Holly Honderich and Jessica Murphy

in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Myles SandersonImage source, Reuters

Police in Canada have arrested the suspect in a mass stabbing that left 10 people dead and 18 others injured.

Myles Sanderson’s capture ends a manhunt that spanned three provinces and prompted questions about why he was granted prison parole despite a history of violence.

Police said he was taken into custody in the town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, at around 15:30 local time (21:30 GMT).

Ten victims remain in hospital, three of them in a critical condition.

Police have already charged him with first-degree murder, attempted murder and breaking and entering.

News of the suspect’s capture came soon after an alert was sent to Canadian mobile phone users on Wednesday afternoon warning people near the town of Wakaw to “seek immediate shelter/shelter in place” because a man armed with a knife had been seen driving in the area.

Rosthern is 44km (27 miles) west of Wakaw. Police have now cancelled that earlier alert and said there is no further risk to the public.

His brother, Damien Sanderson, was also suspected of playing a role in the attacks on Sunday in the rural area. On Monday, police found his body and are now investigating whether his brother killed him during the manhunt.

On Wednesday, the parents of the brothers appealed for their fugitive son to turn himself in.

“I want to apologise for my son, my sons,” his mother said in an interview with CBC News.

“We don’t know the whole story, but I want to apologise to everybody that was hurt and affected by this terrible situation.”

Police have not yet revealed any suspected motive for the crime spree.

Canada’s parole board said on Tuesday that it would review why Myles Sanderson was released early from prison while serving a four-year sentence for several violent crimes.

In February the board said he would “not present an undue risk” and that his release would “contribute to the protection of society” by facilitating his rehabilitation.

Saskatoon police earlier confirmed they had been searching for Myles Sanderson since May, when he stopped meeting his assigned caseworker and was classified as “unlawfully at large”.

Parole documents show Myles Sanderson has a decades-long criminal record, including 59 criminal convictions since he was 18, including assault, threats and robbery.

“I want to know the reasons behind the [parole] decision,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters. “I’m extremely concerned by what occurred here.”

Image source, Reuters / Sask First Nations Veterans Association

Image caption,

Clockwise from top left: Gloria Burns, Carol Burns, Earl Burns Sr and Bonnie Goodvoice-Burns

At an emotional news conference on Wednesday, relatives of the victims spoke of their “horror” over the attack.

“We are broken, but we’re not defeated,” said Mark Arcand, chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council and brother of Bonnie Goodvoice-Burns. Bonnie, 48, and her son Gregory Burns, 28, were both killed.

Bonnie “took care of everybody” and was “a true matriarch”, her brother said, adding that Gregory loved his family and had two children with a third on the way.

Chief Arcand recalled his shock after hearing news of the attack, driving for two hours to reach his sister and her family at James Smith Cree Nation, only to find them among nine fatalities who lived in the community.

“One of the most traumatising things was the visual scene that day,” he said.

Bonnie was a “hero”, he said, adding that she died protecting her three young sons. One of the children was stabbed but survived.

“These two young boys woke up to screaming not being able to help,” he said. “One of the young boys was hiding behind a high chair watching the whole thing happen.”

Additional reporting by Max Matza

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