Canada police have said that one of the two suspects in Sunday’s mass stabbings in Saskatchewan has been found dead. The body of Damien Sanderson, 31, was found in the James Smith Cree Nation, home to several victims, they said.
The two suspects were brothers and police say Myles Sanderson is still at large and believed to be in the city of Regina. On Sunday, 10 people were stabbed to death in one of the worst acts of violence in Canada’s recent history.
The attacks, which left another 18 people injured happened in a remote region of Saskatchewan. In Regina, the province’s capital city, where the suspects were last seen, families are in mourning and communities on edge. But in the city centre on Monday evening, there were no obvious signs of the manhunt. The city was mostly quiet as families gathered to enjoy the Labour Day holiday, the unofficial end to summer.
Every so often, that calm was interrupted by piercing alerts ringing on mobile phones, warning of two adult male suspects, and then just one, still on the run. Officers from three provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, are involved in the search.
The brutal spree of violence has rocked the typically peaceful province, with police investigating 13 different crime scenes. Both Damien and Myles were charged with murder, despite not being arrested.
Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore told a news conference a “deceased male” was located in the James Smith Cree Nation at 11:30 local time (17:30 GMT). It was later confirmed, at 13:17 on Monday, “that the deceased is Damien Sanderson”.
She told reporters his “body was located outdoors in a heavily grassed area in proximity to a house that was being examined” by authorities. Ms Blackmore said Damien’s body was found with “visible injuries” and they were “not believed to be self-inflicted at this point”.
Police have said Myles, Damien’s brother, is still at large and they have encouraged people to remain alert.
The 30-year-old suspect might also have sustained injuries and police have warned the public he might seek medical assistance. But police did not say whether he was responsible for his brother’s death.
Myles, who was previously known to the police, is described as having an “extensive and lengthy criminal record” dating back a number of years for crimes against individuals and property.
“This kind of violence, or any kind of violence has no place in our country,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. He said that “tragedies like these have become all too commonplace” – adding that Saskatchewanians and Canadians would be there for each other in “times of difficulty and anguish”.
Many of the victims were residents of the remote James Smith Cree Nation, home to about 2,000 people – leaving members of Canada’s indigenous community especially shaken. A state of emergency was declared in Saskatchewan. Canadian media have identified some of the victims, although no official details have been provided by authorities.
Saskatchewan’s 1.2 million residents are scattered across 250,000 square miles. Clusters of tight-knit communities, separated by stretches of highways, dot the flat expanse of farmland. Most places feel remote.