“Myles Sanderson has been located and taken into custody near Rosthern, [Saskatchewan] around 3:30 p.m. today,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Saskatchewan said in a press release. “There is no longer a risk to public safety related to this investigation.”
Rosthern is about 80 miles southwest of James Smith Cree Nation, where the killings began Sunday morning. Police received the first call at 5:40 a.m., and then many more, about stabbings on the Aboriginal reservation. At the end of the day, the carnage unfolded at 13 different crime scenes.
The victims, whose identity was revealed on Wednesday, were between 23 and 78 years old. All but one were from James Smith’s Cree Nation. These included a mother who died protecting her children, an addiction counselor responding to an emergency call, and a Canadian Army veteran.
“It’s a huge burden on a lot of people’s shoulders that he’s in custody,” Randy Hoback, a Canadian lawmaker who represents the part of Saskatchewan where the murders took place, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “I think a lot of people are breathing a big sigh of relief and will sleep much better tonight.
After the stabbings, police said they believe Sanderson was in Regina, the provincial capital. They converged on James Smith’s Cree Nation on Tuesday after reporting he had been seen there and urging residents to take shelter.
But they later determined he wasn’t there and said his whereabouts were unknown.
On Wednesday afternoon, police issued an emergency alert for Wakaw, a community about 20 miles east of Rosthern, after reporting a knife-wielding man was driving a stolen white Chevrolet Avalanche. They said they thought it might be related to the mass stabbings.
Sanderson was stopped at the side of a road. A video broadcast by the CBC showed the Avalanche surrounded by police vehicles.
Police have not identified a motive for the killings.
Ever since Sanderson was named a suspect in Sunday’s attacks, Canadians have asked why a man with 59 adult convictions and a violent criminal past spanning nearly two decades was on the streets.
Police had been looking for him since May when he was declared “illegally at large” after failing to report to his parole officer.
He was serving a four-year, four-month sentence for charges of assault, robbery and other violent episodes, including instances where he stabbed two people with a fork, beat a man unconscious and kicked repeatedly kicked a police officer in the face, according to Parole Board of Canada records obtained by The Washington Post.
Records indicate that Sanderson began using drugs and alcohol at age 12 and grew up in an environment where physical abuse and domestic violence were common. According to the records, Sanderson said he was easily angered when drunk and was a “different” person when sober.
He was granted statutory release in August 2021. Canadian law requires that certain federal offenders who have served two-thirds of their sentence be released from prison and placed under direct supervision in their community.
Sanderson’s statutory release was rescinded in November after he failed to be honest with his parole supervisor about his life with a former spouse, in violation of his statutory release conditions.
“Your parole officer assessed this as an indication that you were in your cycle of domestic violence and your risk was no longer manageable in the community,” the board wrote.
The council overturned the suspension in February, writing that it “would not pose an undue risk” to the public.
“Going forward, you must be honest and open with your parole officer,” he wrote.
Marco Mendicino, Canada’s public safety minister, said this week that the council planned to review its decision.