April 25th, 2024

‘How many bodies did I get?’ Saskatchewan inquest hears about arrest of mass killer

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on February 27, 2024.

A hotel conference room being used for the inquest into the apprehension and death of Myles Sanderson, who killed 11 people and injured 17 others on the James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon back in September 2022, is shown in Saskatoon, Monday, February 26, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

SASKATOON – Jurors have heard how a man who went on a stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan asked RCMP how many people he had killed as he was taken into custody.

“How many bodies did I get?” Myles Sanderson said in video captured on RCMP dashboard cameras.

Three days before he was captured, 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. Eleven people were killed and 17 others were injured.

Sgt. Ken Kane, a detective with Saskatoon police, testified Tuesday during the second day of a coroner’s inquest into the mass killer’s death. He described the video of Sanderson’s arrest, saying the 32-year-old Sanderson expressed shock that “nobody even shot at me, man.”

“You should have shot me,” Sanderson says repeatedly to officers in the video.

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

During the first day of the inquest Monday, jurors were shown RCMP dashcam video of a high-speed chase and heard how a Mountie used her vehicle to ram into the truck Sanderson was driving.

The truck went into a ditch off a highway north of Saskatoon. The inquest heard Sanderson had a medical emergency as he was taken into custody and died in hospital.

Kane, one of the officers tasked with investigating the in-custody death, said there was no evidence officers injured Sanderson.

Kane said the RCMP video shows Sanderson starting to convulse.

An officer asks Sanderson if he has taken anything, Kane said, and Sanderson responds with a word that sounds like “meth.”

Officers also located a rolled-up $20 bill and bag of white powder.

A pathologist was scheduled to testify later Tuesday.

The inquest previously heard how Sanderson was able to evade capture for three days and seven hours after the killings.

A call came in to police from a woman who said Sanderson had broken into her home and stolen her truck. It set off a rapid search throughout the area for the truck and Sanderson.

Cindy Ghostkeeper-Whitehead, a family wellness worker for James Smith Cree Nation, said watching videos of the police pursuit was very difficult.

“You could feel the emotions in the room,” she said. “There was mixed emotions for sure.”

A separate inquest into the massacre was held last month, which examined each of the killings and issued more than two dozen recommendations.

Ghostkeeper-Whitehead said she hopes the second inquest helps provide insight into some of the unanswered questions the community still has.

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. The six-person jury may provide recommendations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2024.

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