Canadian police defend mysterious circumstances of stabbing suspect in raging crime: ‘This is not a TV drama’

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Law enforcement arrested Miles Sanderson, one of two suspects in a fatal stabbing attack that killed 10 people earlier this month in Saskatchewan, Canada, on September 7 but later died in police custody.

Rhonda Blackmore, chief of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan, said Thursday that police remain unsure of the suspect’s cause of death and defended their approach to the investigation.

“I have seen that he wrote that ‘somewhere in the process, the police failed to fulfill’ their ‘duty of care’,” Blackmore said in a statement on Thursday. “This statement is very premature given that we have no information yet as to the cause of his death.” Eight days after the death of Miles Sanderson.

“I ask you all to remember that this is not a TV drama as we will have all the answers by the end of the episode. Complex investigations of this kind take time and we look forward to providing more details once confirmed.”

This combination of photos shows Damian Sanderson, left, and his brother, Miles Sanderson, suspected of stab wounds that killed 10 people at the James Smith Cree Nation Preserve.
(Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP)

Miles Sanderson, 32, is accused of stabbing multiple people on the morning of September 4 at the James Smith Cree Nation Preserve.

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His 31-year-old brother Damien Sanderson, also a suspect in the stabbings, was found dead the next day near the stabbing sites with visible injuries that police do not believe were of his own making.

Two days later, police were responding to reports of a man armed with a knife driving a stolen car when they found Miles on a highway. They forced his car off the road into a ditch and arrested him, but he experienced a medical ordeal and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“All life-saving measures we could take at that time were taken,” Blackmore said that evening. “I can’t speak about the exact method of death. That will be part of the autopsy that will be done.”


The Saskatoon Police Department and the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team are conducting an independent investigation into the death of Miles Sanderson, who was released from parole after his release in February while serving a four-year sentence on assault and robbery charges.

He had a lengthy rape sheet of 59 convictions and had been wanted by the police since May for violating the terms of his release.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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