The latest suspect in the attacks that killed ten people and injured 18 on Sunday (September 4) in a community in central Canada was arrested on Wednesday, police said, ending more than three days of tracking. “Myles Sanderson was located and taken into custody near Rosthern, Saskatchewan at approximately 3:30 p.m.” (11:30 p.m. Paris time), the provincial police said on their Facebook account. Shortly after his arrest, the suspect committed suicide in circumstances not yet established, according to Canadian media.
“There is no longer a risk to public safety linked to this investigation”had communicated the police of the province taking the opportunity to thank the inhabitants who provided “relevant information”. Known to the police and the justice system for multiple acts of violence, thefts, Myles Sanderson was already wanted since last May for not having respected his judicial control.
Monday, the body of his brother, Damien Sanderson, suspected of being his accomplice, was found, larded with several stab wounds near the scene of the crimes. The circumstances of his death remain to be clarified, but he could have been killed by his brother, according to the police, who had extended the search area to the entire province of Saskatchewan, a vast rural territory made up of immense prairies.
“Horrible and senseless acts”
On Wednesday, authorities revealed the identities of those killed. Nine out of ten come from the James Smith Cree Nation Aboriginal community, the tenth comes from the neighboring village of Weldon. According to the police, some victims were targeted while others were randomly beaten.
They are men and women between the ages of 23 and 78. Among the injured is a ” young teenager “ and seventeen adults, added the federal police. Before the suspect’s arrest was announced, some families for the first time spoke publicly about their ” nightmare “. “It’s a difficult time for our families”told Mark Arcand to the press, referring to “horrible and senseless acts”. His sister Bonnie Burns, 48, and his nephew Gregory Burns, 28, are among the victims.
“Bonnie always put others before herself.he said, very moved. She did everything she could to provide for her family. Her home was filled with love and attention. »
“A War Zone”
Mr. Arcand also wondered about the course of the attacks. “How did this happen? Why did this happen? We don’t really know what happened. We have no answers. » So far, the relatives had chosen to express themselves almost exclusively on social networks, asking the media to stay away from their community which numbers only 3,400 people.
“I lost a lot of my family members, there were bodies all over the ground, some dead and several others with serious stab wounds and bleeding”thus described Michael Brett Burns on Facebook. “It was a war zone. In their eyes you could see the pain and suffering of those who were assaulted.”he added.
In another message, Dillon Burns said his mother Gloria had died “protecting a young man when he was attacked”adding that“She would have done the same for all of us…[même] for the man who took his life”.
Unemployment and poverty
In Canada, aboriginal people represent approximately 5% of the 38 million inhabitants, and live in communities often ravaged by unemployment and poverty. They are also more often victims of homicide. Ten patients were still hospitalized and three remained in critical condition, according to health authorities.
In recent years, Canada has experienced a succession of events of rare violence for the country. In April 2020, a shooter posing as a police officer killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. In January 2017, six people were killed and five were injured in attacks on a mosque in Quebec.