April 22nd, 2024

Coroner’s inquest into in-custody death of Saskatchewan mass killer set to begin

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on February 26, 2024.

A coroner’s inquest into the death of a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others during a mass stabbing on a Saskatchewan First Nation is set to begin Monday. Police and investigators gather at the side of the road outside Rosthern, Sask., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, as suspect Myles Sanderson is taken into custody. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Heywood Yu

SASKATOON – A coroner’s inquest into the in-custody death of a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others in a mass stabbing in Saskatchewan is scheduled to begin today.

Myles Sanderson had been on the run for several days when police caught up to him on Sept. 7, 2022.

During a pursuit, the 32-year-old drove a truck into a ditch on a highway near north of Saskatoon.

Police said he collapsed while being arrested and died.

Three days earlier, Sanderson went from home to home on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon, kicking in doors and attacking people.

A separate inquest last month into the massacre heard how Sanderson was unlawfully at large at the time and went to the First Nation to sell cocaine.

In the days before the killings, he and his brother Damien Sanderson caused chaos, selling drugs and assaulting people in the community,

Damien Sanderson was the first to be killed on Sept. 4, 2022. Myles Sanderson then continued his rampage.

The first inquest heard that after the killings, Sanderson travelled to Crystal Springs, a hamlet in east-central Saskatchewan near Wakaw, where he was able to evade capture for three days and seven hours. Sanderson raided a garage for food and drinks and made a camp in the nearby bush.

Not long before he was caught, a homeowner called police to say Sanderson had broken into the house and fled in her vehicle.

Officers pursued the killer, and RCMP ran the vehicle Sanderson was driving into a ditch near Rosthern.

Police said Sanderson went into medical distress and was taken to hospital in Saskatoon, where he was declared dead.

The inquest, which is scheduled for a week in Saskatoon, is required under legislation because Sanderson died in police custody.

It is to establish when and where Sanderson died and the cause of his death. A jury may provide recommendations.

The first inquest, which looked at each of the killings, issued more than two dozen recommendations.

Jurors suggested finding ways to better locate offenders unlawfully at large and called for further funding and training for security on James Smith Cree Nation.

The presiding coroner recommended improvements for the RCMP warrant enforcement suppression team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2024.

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