April 25th, 2024

Saskatchewan inquest into killer’s in-custody death hears from emergency room doctor

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on February 29, 2024.

Vanessa Burns, who had been in a domestic partnership with Myles Sanderson for 14 years, speaks to media during an afternoon break at the inquest into the apprehension and death of Myles Sanderson, who killed 11 people and injured 17 others on James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon in September 2022, held at a hotel conference room in Saskatoon, Wednesday, February 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

SASKATOON – A Saskatchewan emergency room doctor has told jurors a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others in a stabbing rampage arrived at the hospital without a heart beat.

Dr. William Papenfus has told the fourth day of a coroner’s inquest that he declared Myles Sanderson dead at 4:39 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2022.

Jurors have heard that Sanderson laughed and asked Mounties how many people he killed when he was taken into custody just before his death.

The killer had been on the run for several days after the massacre on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon.

The inquest has heard that while Sanderson was being detained, his knees buckled and he began to have seizures.

A forensic pathologist testified Sanderson overdosed on cocaine.

The inquest has heard that three days after the killings, Mounties received a call from a woman who said Sanderson had stolen her truck.

Jurors saw video from RCMP dashboard cameras of a high-speed police pursuit that ended with the truck Sanderson was driving going into a ditch on a highway north of Saskatoon.

Officers descended on the truck. After Sanderson was removed from the vehicle, the video shows the killer asking why officers didn’t shoot him.

Const. Bill Rowley told jurors Wednesday that Sanderson was smug and arrogant during the arrest.

In the video, Sanderson’s knees buckle and he is placed on the ground. Mounties and paramedics told the inquest that he began to have seizures.

Sanderson was placed in an ambulance and taken to the hospital in Saskatoon. A paramedic testified Wednesday that Sanderson flatlined during the drive.

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

Vanessa Burns, who was Sanderson’s common-law partner, said Wednesday the inquest has brought up complex emotions. Her father, Earl Burns Sr., was killed by Sanderson on the First Nation.

She said she felt disappointment and anger that Sanderson didn’t show any remorse.

“It was hurtful,” she said.

A criminal investigative psychologist is also scheduled to testify Thursday about Sanderson’s behaviour.

Matt Logan, who is also a former RCMP officer, testified during a separate inquest into the massacre held last month, which examined each of the killings and issued more than two dozen recommendations.

Logan told the first inquest that Sanderson showed many psychopathic traits.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2024.

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