Answers sought as Canada stabbing manhunt widens

Publicado: 07/09/2022

James Smith Cree Nation (Canada) (AFP) -

Relatives of Canada's stabbing spree victims spoke out Wednesday about their 'nightmare' and called for answers from authorities, with a suspect still on the loose and no known motive for the attacks.

Three days after the rampage shattered a remote Indigenous community, Mark Arcand said the killings that claimed the lives of his sister Bonnie Burns, 48, and her son Gregory Burns, 28, were a 'horrible, senseless act.'

'We're broken,' he said, describing feelings of anger and sadness. 'It still feels like it's a nightmare. It doesn't feel real.'

'How did this happen to our family? Why did it happen? We have no answers,' he told a press conference. 'We just know that our family members were killed in their own home, in their yard.'

Arcland recounted how his sister had rushed out of her house to help her son, who was bleeding out in the driveway of their home after being stabbed several times.

'She was stabbed two times, and she died right beside him,' he said. 'She was trying to protect her son.'

A neighbour ran over to try to stop the assailants, but she was also stabbed to death, he said.

He said the family and the community has 'a steep hill to climb, and we're going to climb it together, united.'

The Sunday attack in the James Smith Cree Nation Indigenous community and the nearby town of Weldon killed 10 people and wounded 18.

- One suspect found dead -

A manhunt for two brothers believed to be responsible has spread across Canada's vast Prairies region.

On Monday it turned up the body of one of the brothers, 31-year-old Damien Sanderson, in a grassy field in the Cree community.

Authorities said he likely had been killed by his sibling, Myles Sanderson, 32, who remains at large. Myles Sanderson is also wanted for breaching parole in May after serving part of a sentence for assault and robbery.

The Smith Cree Nation Indigenous was locked down briefly on Tuesday after a possible sighting of the older Sanderson, as police in heavily armed vehicles and a helicopter swooped in.

But it was lifted after police said a search came up empty.

'His whereabouts remain unknown, we urge the public to take appropriate precautions,' police said in an alert.

In Saskatchewan province's capital Regina 300 kilometers (185 miles) to the south, police chief Evan Bray said that earlier reports of Sanderson hiding in the city were unconfirmed.

'Investigations continue... we are still looking not only within the city of Regina, but expanded into the province as well,' he said.

The Saskatchewan Coroner's Service has released the names of the deceased victims -- six men and four women aged 23 to 78 years old.

All but one were members of the Cree community. The other was a widower who lived with his adult grandson in Weldon.

Several vigils were scheduled Wednesday evening.

Those wounded in the attack were 17 adults and one young teen, police said. Among them was another son of Bonnie Burns who was slashed in the neck.

Several of the deceased victims had been identified by families and friends on social media, including a veteran, an addiction counsellor, and a mother of two who worked as a security guard at a local casino.

'I lost a lot of family... bodies everywhere on (the reservation), some deceased and many others with severe knife wounds and bleeding,' Michael Brett Burns posted on Facebook.

'It was a war zone. The look in their eyes couldn't express the pain and suffering for those who were assaulted.'

Police believe some of the victims were targeted and others were attacked randomly.

Ten people -- some of whom had been airlifted on Sunday -- remain hospitalized, including three in critical condition, according the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Seven others have been discharged.

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