background_fid (1).jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The 2nd suspect in Canada's mass stabbing case dies in custody, police say

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The search for the remaining suspect in a series of knife attacks in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is over now.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Myles Sanderson was arrested by Royal Canadian Mounted Police Wednesday and died shortly afterwards in police custody. Here's RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RHONDA BLACKMORE: This is not the end of our work. We do not stop here. The Saskatchewan RCMP continues to investigate this tragedy, and a police presence will continue in James Smith Cree Nation and the Weldon communities for the next while.

MARTIN: Joining us now, CBC News reporter Yasmine Ghania in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Thank you so much for being with us.

YASMINE GHANIA: You're welcome.

MARTIN: Tell us how police eventually caught up with the second suspect.

GHANIA: So, Rachel, police searched for Myles Sanderson for 3 1/2 days, and for a long time, officers didn't know his whereabouts at all. You know, there were possible sightings of him in multiple areas in the province that came up empty, and police were even looking for him in two other provinces. But he was found near a small town yesterday afternoon after he broke into a woman's house and stole her truck. So police were called to that area and found him along the highway. He was in police custody, but shortly after, he went into medical distress and was pronounced dead in hospital. We don't know exactly what the cause of death is. We know he was injured before the arrest, but sources also tell us he could have died by possible overdose. So that's still unclear.

MARTIN: And just to remind listeners, the first suspect was also found dead. And they're brothers, right?

GHANIA: That's right. He was found dead on Monday, and there are still many unanswered questions about that as well - his involvement in the attacks and what happened there. But he was found dead Monday. And they are brothers.

MARTIN: What more has come out about his background, this second suspect - anything?

GHANIA: Yes, we know Sanderson had a history of violence and a lengthy criminal record. He racked up 59 convictions. We also know from court records that he actually tried to kill one of the mass stabbing victims before, seven years ago, and that was his father-in-law. And he's tried stabbing other men on the reserve, too, we've learned through court records. And he also has a long history of intimate partner violence charges. But despite all that, he was out on statutory release. Then he stopped meeting with his caseworker this summer and disappeared for months.

MARTIN: And these stabbings originated on an Indigenous reservation. Ten people died. I mean, how is the community responding at this point?

GHANIA: You know, Rachel, the community is feeling so many different emotions now that the search is over. The biggest emotion is relief, but also anguish, sorrow, grief and anger. And we don't yet know the motive for the attacks. I think that's something that can really get in the way of people healing from this tragedy. But, you know, the community will be grappling with the immense loss and trauma for many, many years.

MARTIN: Yeah. CBC news reporter Yasmine Ghania. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.

GHANIA: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.