RCMP still don't know what killed primary suspect in Sask. mass stabbing: commanding officer

·2 min read
Myles Sanderson shown under arrest moments after RCMP forced his stolen truck off the highway.  (Dabber Gamble/Facebook - image credit)
Myles Sanderson shown under arrest moments after RCMP forced his stolen truck off the highway. (Dabber Gamble/Facebook - image credit)

The cause of death of the main suspect in the mass stabbing in Saskatchewan earlier this month is still unknown, according to a statement from the commanding officer of the RCMP in the province.

Ten people were killed and 18 others were injured in the Sept. 4 stabbing rampage in the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Sask.

The two suspects, Myles Sanderson and Damien Sanderson, are also dead.

Myles Sanderson died in custody shortly after his arrest near Rosthern, Sask., on Sept. 7.

In a Thursday morning statement and her first update to the media in a week, Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said some have "taken issue" with the fact that she did not have answers hours after his arrest and death as to how he died.

Blackmore said the RCMP still do not know what led to his death, adding that to speculate would be irresponsible and undermine the independent investigation being conducted by the Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT).

Richard Agecoutay/CBC
Richard Agecoutay/CBC

She said the police officers who apprehended him are not medical experts or pathologists, and that complex investigations of this nature take time.

"I ask you all to remember this is not a TV drama where we will have all of the answers by the end of the episode," she said.

Blackmore said it's important for the RCMP to wait for the independent investigation to be completed before making such statements, adding independent oversight of police actions is critical to public trust and confidence in the actions of police officers.

"I am confident both investigating bodies understand the public interest in this case and will be working to release information as soon as they are able," she said.

Blackmore said she appreciates there are still unanswered questions and that the RCMP are fully committed to providing a detailed timeline once investigators have it completed.

She said the RCMP's first priority remains sharing the information with the victim's families prior to the general public.