The second suspect of the stabbings of 10 people in Saskatchewan, Canada, was arrested Wednesday afternoon, then died after being taken into police custody.
Myles Sanderson died from self-inflicted injuries after police announced his arrest Wednesday, the Associated Press reported and Global News reported Wednesday night. Police did not immediately confirm the cause of his death and said they’ve asked for an independent investigation into the incident.
He was taken into custody at about 3:30 p.m. local time near Rosthern, more than 100 kilometers away from where Sunday’s stabbings occurred, Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police commanding officer Rhonda Blackmore said Wednesday at a press conference. A homeowner had earlier in the afternoon called 911 to report that Sanderson, armed with a knife, had stolen a white Chevy Avalanche truck. After multiple sightings of the vehicle by police and the public, the truck was forced off a rural highway into a ditch, and Sanderson was arrested. A knife was found in the truck.
“Shortly after his arrest, he went into medical distress,” Blackmore said.
He was then taken to a hospital in Saskatoon, where he was pronounced dead.
His brother, Damien Sanderson, whom authorities had also named as a suspect, was found dead on Monday. Police believed his injuries were not self-inflicted, and his death is still under investigation.
Ten people were killed and 18 others were injured in the series of stabbings in the area of the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon on Sunday. Authorities believe some of the victims may have been targeted, while others may have been stabbed at random. Police received the first call reporting a stabbing at 5:40 a.m., and calls reporting additional stabbings at other locations quickly followed.
The two brothers were charged in connection with the stabbings on Monday, and people in neighboring provinces were asked to stay alert while the search for them continued. Myles Sanderson faced one count of attempted murder, three counts of first-degree murder, and one count of breaking and entering a residence. More charges were expected to follow.
In spite of interviews with witnesses and others who knew the brothers, Blackmore said Wednesday that police still do not know what the motive was of the stabbings.
“Now that Myles is deceased, we may never have an understanding of that motivation,” she said.
Video posted by a CTV reporter on Wednesday showed what appeared to be the arrest scene, with a number of police vehicles present on the highway.
Police also on Wednesday released the names of the 10 people who were killed in the attack: Thomas Burns, 23: Carol Burns, 46: Gregory Burns, 28; Lydia Gloria Burns, 61; Bonnie Burns, 48, Earl Burns, 66; Lana Head, 49; Christian Head, 54; and Robert Sanderson, 49, of James Smith Cree Nation, Saskatchewan; and Wesley Petterson, 78, of Weldon, Saskatchewan.
Blackmore noted that within the small First Nation, “everyone knows everyone.” During the four days of the hunt for Sanderson, she said some residents had been unable to sleep as they feared he could return with more violence. She said she hoped the news of his arrest would be the first step of a long grieving and healing journey.
“I hope that this brings them some sense of closure,” she said, “in that they can rest easy tonight knowing that Myles Sanderson is no longer a threat to them.