Canada: Youngest suspect in attacks dies after arrest
The major manhunt in Canada, which had been initiated for several days, ended on Wednesday: the last suspect in the attacks in central Canada on Sunday, which left ten dead and injured 18, was arrested and died shortly thereafter.
One of the deadliest attacks in the country
For more than three days, hundreds of police officers have been following Myles Sanderson, who is suspected of being responsible for the attacks, the motive for which remains unclear, along with his brother Damien Sanderson, who was found dead on Monday. It is one of the deadliest attacks in the country in recent years.
“Shortly after his arrest, Myles Sanderson fell into medical distress,” Rhonda Blackmore, deputy commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told reporters, without offering any further explanation for the uneasiness. “He was pronounced dead at the hospital,” she added.
Late in the afternoon, police announced his arrest on social media: “Myles Sanderson has been located and taken into custody” before thanking the public for providing “relevant information” that made his arrest possible. But authorities fear the reasons for these attacks remain unknown in the heart of the province of Saskatchewan, a vast rural area with vast prairies.
“Now that Myles is dead, we may never be able to understand his motives,” added Rhonda Blackmore, adding that more than 120 interviews have been conducted with relatives or witnesses, without revealing anything about the crime could.
A suspect known to the police
The 32-year-old suspect, who was armed with a knife, was spotted after stealing a car in an area about 100 kilometers from the scene.
Myles Sanderson, known to the police and judiciary for multiple acts of violence and theft, has been wanted since last May for failing to respect judicial oversight. For four days, the police multiplied the alarm reports and warned the population of the danger of the suspect.
Damien Sanderson’s body was found near the scene with multiple stab wounds. The circumstances of his death have yet to be established, but police say he could have been killed by his brother.
“Horrible and senseless deeds”
Before the suspect’s arrest and death were announced, and for the first time since Sunday, some families spoke publicly about their “nightmare.” According to police, some victims were targeted while others were beaten at random.
Nine of the 10 victims are from the Indigenous community of the James Smith Cree Nation and the last from the nearby village of Weldon. They are men and women between the ages of 23 and 78. Federal police added that a “young teenager” and seventeen adults were among the injured.
“It’s a difficult time for our families,” Mark Arcand told the press, citing “horrible and senseless acts.” Among the victims are his sister Bonnie Burns, 48, and his nephew Gregory Burns, 28. “Bonnie has always preferred others,” he said, very moved. “She did everything to provide for her family. Her home was filled with love and attention.”
Mr Arcand also wondered about the course of the attacks. “How did this happen? Why is that happend? We don’t really know what happened. We have no answers.”
Ten patients still in the hospital
So far, loved ones have chosen to speak out almost exclusively on social media, urging the media to stay away from their community of 3,400. Speaking on Facebook, Dillon Burns said his mother Gloria died “protecting a young man when he was attacked,” adding “she would have done the same for all of us… (even) the man who took his life.” took.”
Ten patients were still hospitalized and two were in critical condition as of Wednesday night, health officials said.
Almost all victims are indigenous. A population that makes up approximately 5% of Canada‘s 38 million people and lives in communities often plagued by unemployment and poverty. They are also more likely to be victims of homicide.
In recent years, Canada has seen a series of events of rare violence for the country. “Tragedies that have become all too common,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In April 2020, a gunman disguised as a police officer killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. In January 2017, six people were killed and five injured in attacks on a mosque in Quebec.
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