April 24th, 2024

Inquest hears Saskatchewan mass killer died in custody from cocaine overdose

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 – A pathologist told Saskatchewan coroner’s inquest Tuesday that a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others died from a cocaine overdose after he was taken into police custody.

Myles Sanderson, 32, had been on the run for several days when police caught up to him on Sept. 7, 2022.

He went into medical distress during his arrest and was pronounced dead in hospital.

“There was so much cocaine there,” said forensic pathologist Dr. Shaun Ladham, describing the amount of the drug found in Sanderson’s body.

RCMP dashboard camera video played at the inquest shows Sanderson’s arrest after a high-speed chase.

He began to convulse and was given naloxone, a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses.

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.

Earlier Tuesday, jurors heard Sanderson ask RCMP during his arrest how many he had killed.

“How many bodies did I get?” he says in the dashboard video.

Sgt. Ken Kane, a detective with Saskatoon police, described the video for jurors, saying Sanderson expressed shock that “nobody even shot at me, man.”

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

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

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

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

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

It is to establish when and where Sanderson died and the cause of his death. The six-person jury may also provide recommendations.

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

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