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RCMP confirm suspect Damien Sanderson found dead

Myles Sanderson may have suffered injuries, is still wanted by police.

REGINA — RCMP F Division have confirmed that one of the two suspects in the mass killings in the James Smith Cree Nation area has been found dead.

F Division commanding officer, Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, announced Damien Sanderson has been confirmed as deceased at James Smith Cree Nation, having suffered from visible injuries.

Blackmore told reporters that at 11:30 a.m. a deceased male was located on the James Smith Cree Nation. At 1:17 p.m. today it was confirmed by RCMP Forensic Investigations Section that the deceased was Damien Sanderson. 

His body was located outdoors in a heavily grassed area in proximity to a house that was being examined. Blackmore said the RCMP confirmed there were visible injuries but the injuries do not appear to be self inflicted.

The exact cause of death will be determined in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Coroner's Office. The date and time for that examination is to be determined.

RCMP say they believe the other suspect, his brother Myles Sanderson, is still at large and police have strong reason to believe he sustained some injuries. Blackmore said this has not been confirmed, but they do want the public to be aware of this as he may seek medical attention. "Even if he is injured, it does not mean he is not still dangerous," said Blackmore, who said Myles has a lengthy criminal record involving persons and property crimes. 

Myles Sanderson faces three counts of first-degree murder and is wanted. He is considered armed and dangerous. The RCMP are asking the public to not approach him, and if you know of his whereabouts to immediately call 911.

This brings the total count of people impacted in the tragedy to 11 confirmed dead, and 19 injured, at 13 crime scenes. These were a result of the stabbing attacks that took place on the James Smith Cree Nation and in Weldon early Sunday morning.

Here are some further details from the news conference, which was attended by Blackmore and by Regina Chief of Police Evan Bray. 

Bray told reporters that the information they received Sunday about a vehicle being in Regina and two people in the vehicle who matched the description is "still relevant and believed to be true information." He said they are confident in those facts and investigative work has corroborated those facts. 

They are still operating under the impression Myles is still in the city of Regina. Bray said they will continue working with the RCMP.

He adds that "most recent information" is now a day old. It is possible Myles is no longer in the community. Bray said "we are very confident" Myles was in the city yesterday, and they were confident there were two people in the vehicle. The vehicle has not yet been located.

Blackmore said they have not been able to confirm one way or another whether Myles was involved in Damien's death. "It is an investigative avenue that we are following up on but we cannot say definitively at this point."

The RCMP could not confirm the condition of those injured.

Blackmore said there is a significant amount of police officers at the James Smith Cree Nation, and that large presence will continue for several days. 

As for Myles Sanderson, Blackmore is urging people to be vigilant at James Smith Cree Nation and across Saskatchewan.

Bray said they have hundreds of resources between RCMP and Regina Police Service working on this and "we are coming at it from all angles."

Among the units involved is the tech crimes unit, investigative crimes, emergency services teams, air support and the efforts include traffic services out on the highways.

"We do investigate every tip that comes in, every piece of information," said Bray, "There are people that possess knowledge about Myles, where he is, about information that occurred over the last 24 to 48 hours that is going to be very, very important to this investigation. So once again, we reiterate to the community, we need to hear from you. Please reach out to police, please reach out to organizations that can get information to the police, and provide us with what could ultimately be the missing piece to tie this up and ultimately take Myles safely into custody."

The following is the full statement from Assistant Commissioner Blackmore at the news conference Monday afternoon.


Good afternoon,

After 11:30 a.m., a deceased male was located on the James Smith Cree Nation. At 1:17 p.m., it was confirmed by Saskatchewan RCMP Forensic Investigation Section the deceased is wanted Damien Sanderson.

His body was located outdoors, in a heavily grassed area in proximity to a house being investigated. We can confirm he has visible injuries, not believed to be self-inflicted at this point. The exact cause of death will be determined in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Coroner’s Office with a date and time to be determined.

Myles Sanderson, Damien’s brother, may have sustained injuries, this has not been confirmed. We want the public to know this because there is a possibility he may seek medical attention.

Even if he is injured, it does not mean he is not still dangerous. Myles has a lengthy criminal record involving both persons and property crimes.

Myles is facing three counts of first-degree murder and is wanted. We considered him armed and dangerous, do not approach him. If you know of his whereabouts, immediately call 911.

Our thoughts continue to go out to the families of the victims.

This brings the count of this tragedy to 11 deceased, 19 injured and 13 crimes scenes.

Thank you.

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