The suspect sought by Canadian authorities in a weekend stabbing spree that killed 10 people in and around an indigenous reserve in Saskatchewan died on Wednesday, apparently of self-inflicted injuries, shortly after his arrest, Canada’s Global News agency reported.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said earlier that Myles Sanderson, 30, was taken into custody near the town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, about 100 km (62 miles) southwest of the area where one of the bloodiest acts of mass violence in the country’s history unfolded on Sunday.
Global News, citing multiple law enforcement sources, reported Sanderson surrendered to police and was taken away alive in an ambulance after a highway pursuit in which police rammed his vehicle off the road. He died shortly after of injuries authorities believe were self-inflicted.
CBC News also reported Sanderson had died after being taken into custody. His older brother and accused accomplice, Damien Sanderson, 31, was himself found slain on Monday in a grassy area of the James Smith Cree Nation.
Police were investigating whether the younger sibling might have killed his brother, and said Myles may have sustained injuries requiring medical attention.
There was no immediate official word of Myles Sanderson’s death from Canadian authorities, who were expected to hold a news conference on Wednesday evening.
The RCMP, in a late-afternoon notice announcing Sanderson’s arrest, gave no details about how the end of the four-day manhunt concluded, saying only: “There is no longer a risk to public safety relating to this investigation.”
MOTIVES FOR BLOODSHED UNKNOWN
In addition to the 10 victims killed, 18 others were wounded in the rampage, which unnerved a country where instances of mass murder are rare. Police said some of the victims appeared to have been targeted, while others were apparently random.
Authorities have offered no motive for the attacks, which occurred on the James Smith Cree Nation reserve, home to some 3,400 people, and the nearby village of Weldon, about 320 km (200 miles) north of the provincial capital of Regina.
Some First Nation leaders have linked the killings to drug use, but police have not cited drugs or alcohol as factors.
The arrest came shortly after the RCMP issued an emergency alert reporting that an unnamed individual believed to be armed with a knife was spotted driving a stolen pickup truck in the town of Wakaw, about an hour’s drive from the reserve.
Police said in that notice they believed the sighting was linked to the manhunt for Sanderson.
New details about the victims and the circumstances of their deaths were brought to light by relatives earlier in the day.
During an emotional news conference, Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand revealed his sister, Bonnie Burns, 48, and his 28-year-old nephew, Gregory Burns, were stabbed to death in their front yard on the James Smith Cree reserve between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Burns’ other three sons and two foster children were also home at the time of the attacks.