What We Know About The Suspects In The Canadian Stabbing Spree So Far

Two brothers allegedly committed vicious assaults on dozens of victims on September 4 and 5, 2022, in what is being called one of Canada's most deadly stabbing sprees ever (per CNN). Around 5:40 a.m. on September 4, police in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada were alerted to several stabbing attacks in the James Smith Cree Nation area. They issued numerous alerts about the suspects, Damien and Myles Sanderson, throughout the morning. By 12 p.m., police believed the suspects to be in the city of Regina. But on September 5, one of the suspected stabbers, Damien Sanderson was found dead. Police said it did not look as though he took his own life, but an official cause of death had yet to be determined. The other suspect, Myles Sanderson, is still on the run. 

According to NBC News, the attacks were so widespread that police have investigated 13 separate crime scenes in ​​Saskatchewan, a province that borders Montana and North Dakota. Stabbing attacks across these 13 spots have killed 10 people and injured 18 more, per CBC. Police still aren't sure why the culprits targeted certain people — they believe some attacks were on specific individuals, while other attacks were just random acts of violence, according to the Independent.

Myles Sanderson is still at large, and considered dangerous

The culprits are believed to be the Sanderson brothers, Myles (pictured above) and Damien, NBC News reported. Myles, age 30, is still on the run and is possibly injured. Officials warned that Myles might try to get medical attention, but that he is still considered a public danger. Per the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Facebook page there were reportings of possible sightings of the accused killer in the James Smith Cree Nation on September 6. 

Meanwhile, his 31-year-old brother Damien is dead. His body was found at James Smith Cree Nation on September 5, 2022, the second day of the stabbings. Per a statement from Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Officer Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, "His body was located outdoors, in a heavily grassed area in proximity to a house being investigated. We can confirm he has visible injuries, not believed to be self-inflicted at this point." The cause of death is still under investigation, according to Blackmore. 

As police continue their manhunt for Myles Sanderson, they have good reason to believe Myles is dangerous: he has a long history of violent crime. 

Myles had a lengthy criminal history

The Globe and Mail reports that Myles had an unstable childhood where he endured domestic violence, neglect, violence, and exposure to substance use. Myles allegedly started using drugs and drinking as a minor, reportedly starting with marijuana and alcohol at age 12, and cocaine two years later. Then, when he was an adult, he also allegedly began using crystal meth. Independent writes that his Indigenous background combined with inter-generational trauma were also factors in his upbringing. 

At 30 years old, he had already racked up 59 various convictions for aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, robbery, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, and making threats toward others (per The Globe and Mail). Though all 59 counts are from his adulthood, Myles' criminal history dates back 20 years, when he was still a minor. 

One of his criminal charges was for stabbing two people with a fork. His criminal records showed domestic violence counts, which impacted his own five children and his domestic partner — while his children were inside a bathroom, he punched a hole into the door. Another time, he beat a man unconscious. On a separate occasion, he kicked a police officer in the face and head multiple times. 

Until recently, Myles was actually in federal custody, where he was sentenced to a five-year sentence for numerous charges of robbery, assault, making threats, and committing mischief (via CBC). He received a statutory release, the Canadian version of parole, but he eventually went rogue. 

Police were already searching for Myles -- even before the attacks

The Globe and Mail reports that Myles had PTSD and ADD diagnoses; a report from February 2022 stated that he was sober, employed, in therapy, and engaging with his community. But even when he was released from jail, the board overseeing his release warned that he still had a "significant journey to make to change your lifestyle and attitudes to live a prosocial life." 

In order to stay out of jail on a statutory basis, he wasn't allowed to consume drugs or alcohol, and there were a few people he was completely prohibited from contacting. But Canadian police were already searching for Myles long before his alleged knife attacks: since he missed a May 2022 parole meeting, Myles was declared "unlawfully at large" by ​​Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers, who also noted that his last known location was Saskatoon. 

However, on September 5, NBC News reported that he was allegedly sighted in a vehicle in Regina, Saskatchewan. Myles would have had to drive about 186 miles from the James Smith Cree Nation, where the attacks began, to the city of Regina (via CNN). CBC describes Myles Sanderson as being 6'1”, 240 pounds, and having brown eyes and hair. As for the latest possible sighting in the James Cree Nation on September 6, police are asking people to "shelter in place or get somewhere safe and report any suspicious persons to 9-1-1 (via Facebook). Per NBC News, police are still investigating if Myles was responsible for his brother Damien's death.