Crime & Justice

Confusion abounds over whereabouts of Canada mass stabbing suspect

By Julio Cesar Rivas

Toronto, Canada, Sep 6 (EFE).- Three days after a mass stabbing spree killed 10 people and wounded another 18 in Saskatchewan, Canada, confusion remains about the whereabouts of the remaining suspect still on the run.

Numerous police officers searched James Smith Cree Nation on Tuesday in search of suspect Myles Sanderson after receiving information about his possible presence in the community.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) warned around 1,000 people who live on the reservation to shelter in their homes and to not allow entry to strangers.

Police said on Twitter that they received information that the suspect, who is believed to be injured and is considered armed and dangerous, was still in James Smith Cree Nation, where part of the attack occurred Sunday.

After hours of tension, with frightened people locked in their homes, the RCMP said it had “determined that he is not located in the community.”

The confusion about his whereabouts comes after other contradictory information provided since the stabbings occurred on Sunday in 13 locations across James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon.

For two days, authorities were unable to confirm whether the two suspects, Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson, were brothers, as their surnames suggested. Finally, late on Monday, the police confirmed they were.

Also Tuesday, the police corrected information they had provided from day one and said that Myles is 32 years old and not 30 as initially stated.

On Monday the investigation had taken a turn when Damien, 31, was found dead in a grassy area near a house on the reservation.

The finding illicited surprise since it had been assured that the two suspects had fled in a vehicle and were most likely in provincial capital Regina.

Police said Damien had wounds that were “not believed to have been self-inflicted.” The authorities are investigating whether he was killed by his brother.

Despite the discovery of the body, Regina’s police chief insisted late Monday that he believed Myles had fled James Smith Cree Nation with another person and was in Regina. On Tuesday the department said it had “received information that is leading us to believe that he may no longer be in Regina.”

The investigation now returns to square one in order to capture the remaining suspect.

Police believe some victims were targeted deliberately while others were attacked arbitrarily and the motive is unclear, although a Saskatchewan indigenous leader linked the violence to drug use.

Myles had been wanted since May for failing to meet with his assigned parole caseworker. The fugitive had been serving an almost five-year sentence for assault, robbery, mischief and uttering threats, but after being paroled he disappeared.

As an adult he has wracked up 59 convictions, including assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, assaulting a police officer and robbery, according to public broadcaster CBC.

He is now wanted on three counts of first-degree murder, one of attempted murder and one of break-and-enter.

On Tuesday, three of those killed in the attack were identified.

The families of first responder Gloria Burns, 62; Wes Petterson, 77, and army veteran Earl Burns Sr., announced their deaths.

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