April 13th, 2024

Saskatchewan coroner’s inquest to hear more details about in-custody death of 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 – A Saskatchewan coroner’s inquest will hear more details today about how a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others during a stabbing rampage died in police custody.

Myles Sanderson had been on the run for several days when police caught up to him on Sept. 7, 2022, and during the first day of the inquest Monday, jurors were shown video from RCMP dashboard cameras of a high-speed police pursuit.

A Mountie used her vehicle to ram into the truck Sanderson was driving.

The vehicle lost control and went into a ditch on a highway north of Saskatoon, and the inquest heard Sanderson had a medical emergency while he was taken into custody and died in hospital.

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.

The second day of the inquest is expected to hear information from a member of Saskatoon police about what happened when Sanderson was apprehended.

The inquest is also scheduled to hear from a pathologist later in the day.

After the killings occurred, 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.

The inquest heard how 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.

Video presented to the inquest shows Mounties close behind the racing truck as it weaved towards oncoming traffic before hitting the ditch.

Cindy Ghostkeeper-Whitehead, a family wellness worker for James Smith Cree Nation, said watching the videos 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 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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