The head of the Saskatchewan RCMP says investigators have determined Myles Sanderson was solely responsible for the multiple stabbing deaths on James Smith Cree Nation last month — including the murder of his brother.
Rhonda Blackmore noted that the investigation was ongoing, and a lot of information was still being processed, but said Damien Sanderson, one of the suspects in the investigation, did not kill any of the victims.
“Evidence collected and analyzed by investigators to date have determined that Damien was involved in the initial planning and preparation for the attacks on Sept. 4,” Blackmore said.
“Investigators have determined that Damien Sanderson was a victim of homicide by Myles Sanderson. Myles Sanderson committed all of the homicides alone.”
Blackmore noted police have gone through 250 interviews, 670 exhibits and over 100 911 calls for service to determine this, but added that they are still looking into what the extent of Damien’s involvement was in those attacks.
She noted that it was important to clarify Damien’s involvement in the crime, adding that a full timeline that will take months to complete and will be shared with the public once the pieces have been put together.
This brings the total number of people Myles Sanderson killed to 11, with 18 people injured.
“This will take time to complete. And the reality is we may never really know exactly why.”
Blackmore said many of the unanswered questions that the public has will be brought up during the two inquests that were announced by the Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service that will begin next year.
Read more: Mass stabbing survivor wakes in hospital
Other information given by Blackmore had Melfort RCMP officers placed in James Smith Cree Nation looking for Damien on Sept. 3 regarding a stolen vehicle.
She said police did extensive patrols in an attempt to find Damien, and said they found out afterwards that Damien had been approached by police, but he gave a false name, and the photo on Damien’s file was outdated.
Blackmore said police learned more information about Myles and Damien through their investigation.
“Myles and Damien Sanderson were actively selling drugs in the community on Sept. 3. Both Myles and Damien were involved in at least three violent altercations involving other individuals in James Smith Cree Nation. It is unknown at this point if weapons were involved.”
She noted that none of these violent altercations were reported to police, and that one of them occurred around Sept. 2.
Global News reported exclusively last month that Skye Sanderson, Damien’s widow, reported her husband and Myles to police 24 hours before the stabbing spree began, after the brothers took her car and were intimidating her father.
Skye told Global News that RCMP members arrived at James Smith Cree Nation on Sept. 3 and returned her car to her but didn’t do enough to locate Damien and Myles — despite the pair’s outstanding arrest warrants.
—With files from Global’s Sean Boynton