Suspect arrested over Canada mass stabbing dies from self-inflicted injuries

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The fugitive arrested over a mass stabbing in Canada that killed 10 people and injured 18 has died from self-inflicted wounds, officials have said.

Myles Sanderson died shortly after being taken into custody, after police rammed his stolen vehicle, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to the Guardian. Police sources gave similar accounts to Canadian media outlet Global News.

Images of the arrest showed a stretch of highway near the city of Saskatoon with at least 10 police vehicles surrounding a white SUV, the subject of an emergency alert sent out by police earlier in the afternoon amid fears Sanderson had been spotted and was armed.

After his detention, Sanderson was sent in an ambulance to Saskatoon’s Royal University hospital, escorted by two police cars.

“Myles Sanderson was located and taken into police custody near Rosthern, Saskatchewan at approximately 3.30pm today. There is no longer a risk to public safety relating to this investigation,” police said in a statement. Officers were due to give a press conference on Wednesday night.

The news came shortly after Sanderson’s parents issued an emotional plea for their son to turn himself in.

Sanderson, 32, faced multiple murder charges for his role in a knife attack that devastated the James Smith Cree Nation, an Indigenous community, and the nearby village of Weldon.

“Myles, my boy, turn yourself in. Please. You can do this,” his mother told CBC News. “Come back. Turn yourself in. Do the right thing.”

Related: A veteran, a mother, a widower: police name victims of Canada stabbing

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 any more … please, my son. I love you. Turn yourself in. Be safe,” he said.

News of the death came hours after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provincial coroner released the names of the 10 victims, whose ages ranged from 23 to 78.

The victims were named as: 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, Robert Sanderson, 49 and Wesley Petterson, 78.

All the victims were residents of James Smith Cree Nation apart from Petterson who lived in Weldon in northern Saskatchewan.

Eighteen other people were wounded in the rampage, which ranks among the worst acts of mass violence attacks in Canada’s modern history. Police said some of the victims appeared to have been targeted, while others were apparently random.

Sanderson’s brother, Damien, 31, who was also initially suspected in the attack, was found dead on Monday near the sites of the attacks. Authorities say his injuries were not self-inflicted.

Sanderson’s parents acknowledged the pain their sons’ actions had caused as the public learned about the lives cut short.


“I want to apologize for my son, my sons. We don’t know the whole story, but I want to apologize to everybody that was hurt and affected by this terrible situation,” his mother said.

His father added:

“I give all my sincere apologies to the families … From the bottom of my heart, I mean it,” the father said. “I am so sorry this happened. I don’t know what else to say, what to do … I wish it was a dream.”

Sanderson’s death put an end to days of fear in the surrounding prairie region where fresh panic had been sparked by a string of false sitings of Sanderson.

Mark Arcand, whose sister Bonnie Burns, and nephew Gregory, were among the victims said the last few days had taken on a surreal quality.

“This terrible tragedy that nobody wanted or asked for. It still feels like it’s a nightmare.”

The stabbing spree has prompted questions over why Sanderson, who had a long history of violence, was out on the street.

Parole documents released on Tuesday showed that he had 59 convictions over 20 years, including for domestic assault, assault with a weapon and attacking a police officer.

The records also showed that seven years ago, he attacked and stabbed one of the victims killed in the weekend rampage.

On Tuesday, the public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, said he was “extremely concerned” following reports the country’s parole board granted Sanderson statutory release after serving two-thirds of his sentence despite concerns he might reoffend.

He was serving a four year and four month federal sentence for assault, assault with a weapon and assault of a police officer.

“I am assured that the parole board of Canada will be undertaking an investigation of this decision. I think the process for review begins there, but it certainly does not end at that point,” Mendicino told reporters.