Authorities continued to comb through 13 separate crime scenes, many of them on the James Smith Cree Nation reserve and the nearby village of Weldon, where brothers Damien and Myles Sanderson are accused of carrying out Sunday’s massacre in a country where mass killings are relatively rare compared to those in the United States.
Police said on Monday the body of Damien Sanderson was found in a “very grassy area” in the James Smith Cree Nation, about 300 miles north of the Canada-US border, with injuries that did not appear to have been self-inflicted. He was 31 years old. They continued to search for Myles Sanderson, 30, who they said on Monday has a “full and lengthy criminal record” and may be injured.
Myles Sanderson was charged Monday with three counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Damien Sanderson was charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder before his body was found. The two have been charged with break and enter, and the RCMP say further charges are likely.
The attacks began on Sunday morning, when police received a call and then several more about stabbings at the James Smith Cree Nation, an Indigenous community of 1,800 people about 200 miles north of Regina, the provincial capital .
They left 10 dead and 18 injured, including four hospitalized Monday in critical condition.
Authorities have provided few details about the victims. Rhonda Blackmore, Assistant Commissioner of the Saskatchewan RCMP, said some appeared to have been targeted and others were randomly attacked. She said they included men and women from a “wide range of ages”. The youngest was born in 1999.
Gloria Burns, a 62-year-old substance abuse counselor from the James Smith Cree Nation, was identified by her brothers as one of the victims. They told local media that she responded to an emergency call during the killings and died alongside other victims.
“For her to end up in a situation like this where [she was] helping people, even if it cost her her life… that’s what she was,” her brother Darryl Burns told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association has identified Earl Burns, who served in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment of the Canadian Army, as another victim.
Lana Head, a mother, was identified as the victim by Michael Brett Burns, her former partner, according to local media. In a Facebook post the day before the attack, she wrote: “So many great memories to cherish.” Her page included photos of her dog Daisy sipping a Tim Hortons and advising friends of deals at a local grocery store.
“I miss her voice already”, my friend Melodie Whitecap wrote in a Facebook post. “She was a sweet, gentle soul, she wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Weldon residents identified Wes Petterson, a 77-year-old man who closely watched the community and was the “sweetest” guy, as another victim. Ruby Works told Global News she has known him since she was a little girl and he was like an uncle to her.
“When I heard my friend had been killed, I just hit the ground,” she said. “Why would you come and kill an innocent person who did nothing?” He didn’t deserve this.”