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Canadian police arrest 2nd suspect in deadly stabbing rampage; had been paroled for previous violent crimes


Sep 8, 2022

Canadian police on Wednesday arrested the second suspect in a stabbing rampage that killed 10 people, following a three-day manhunt. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Myles Sanderson, 32, was located near the town of Rosthern in Saskatchewan around 3:30 p.m. local time. An official familiar with the matter said Sanderson’s vehicle was rammed by police and he surrendered. 

His arrest comes after authorities found the body of Sanderson’s brother, 31-year-old Damien Sanderson, on Monday near the location where most of the stabbings occurred. Police are investigating if Myles Sanderson, 32, killed his brother.

The stabbing rampage has raised questions about why Myles Sanderson — an ex-con with 59 convictions and a long history of shocking violence — was out on the streets in the first place.


He was released by a parole board in February while serving a sentence of over four years on charges that included assault and robbery. But he had been wanted by police since May, apparently for violating the terms of his release, though the details were not immediately clear.

Many of Sanderson’s crimes were committed when he was intoxicated, according to court records. He told parole officials at one point that substance use made him out of his mind. Records showed he repeatedly violated court orders barring him from drinking or using drugs.

Sanderson, who is Indigenous and was raised on the Cree reserve, population 1,900, started drinking and smoking marijuana at around 12, and cocaine followed soon after.

In 2017, he barged into his ex-girlfriend’s home, punched a hole in the bathroom door while his two children were hiding in a bathtub, and threw a cement block at a vehicle parked outside, according to parole documents. 


That November he threatened an accomplice into robbing a fast-food restaurant by clubbing him with a gun and stomping on his head. And in 2018, he stabbed two men with a fork while drinking and beat someone unconscious.

When he was released in February, the parole board set conditions on his contact with his partner and children and also said he should not enter into relationships with women without written permission from his parole officer.

In granting Sanderson “statutory release,” parole authorities said: “It is the Board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society.”

Canadian law grants prisoners statutory release after they serve two-thirds of their sentence. But the parole board can impose conditions on that freedom, and inmates who violate them — as Sanderson did more than once — can be ordered back to prison. 

Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said there would be an investigation into the parole board’s assessment of Sanderson.

“I want to know the reasons behind the decision” to release him, Mendicino said. “I’m extremely concerned with what occurred here. A community has been left reeling.”

The Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service said nine of those killed were from the James Smith Cree Nation: 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. One was from Weldon, 78-year-old Wesley Patterson. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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