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A suspect is found dead, the other is at large, following a mass stabbing in Canada


Authorities in Canada believe two brothers were behind a mass killing in the province of Saskatchewan. Ten people were stabbed to death, 18 more were injured in the attacks. One of the suspects has been found dead. The search continues for the other. Reporter Mickey Djuric with the Canadian Press has been covering the story since it started Sunday. She joins us now. Thank you for being with us.


MARTIN: As I noted, Mickey, they found the body of one of the suspects. What have investigators learned?

DJURIC: Yeah. So police have actually confirmed that Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson are brothers. And Damien Sanderson's body was found outside on the James Smith Cree Nation yesterday morning, not far from several of the crime scenes. He did have injuries that don't appear to be self-inflicted. And the discovery of his body has actually not surprised community members in the area. They told me that they don't think the suspects ever left here, despite police getting a tip that they were in the province's capital of Regina about 4 hours away.

MARTIN: What do we know, if anything, about the other brother, the suspect still at large?

DJURIC: So he actually has a criminal history that dates back almost 20 years. He's been convicted of 59 crimes, including property crimes and crimes against people, like assault, robbery, domestic violence. And most of these happened while he was intoxicated. He grew up in an unstable home marked by violence, neglect, substance abuse and has been deeply affected by intergenerational trauma brought on by Canada's residential school system. And Parole Board of Canada documents show that the regular use of drugs and hard alcohol would make him lose his mind, get angry. And he's actually been wanted since May for failing to report to his probation officer. Police consider him extremely dangerous. They have not found him at this time. And they are asking people not to approach him, as he's been charged with three counts of first-degree murder following these attacks. And there is a warrant for his arrest.

MARTIN: Meanwhile, have you learned more about the timeline of exactly what happened on Sunday?

DJURIC: Yeah. So police received the first calls about the attacks on James Smith Cree Nation between 5 and 6 a.m. on Sunday, September 4. And the calls came one after another. Law enforcement have identified that there are 13 crime scenes across the Indigenous first nation and in a nearby village of less than 200 people called Weldon. And this is an extremely rural area, mainly farmland. So the investigation is vast and continues to take place.

MARTIN: Some of the victims have been identified, I understand. Can you tell us about them?

DJURIC: Yeah. So police have said that no children or infants have been stabbed. The victims range in age from early 20s to a 77-year-old man named Wes Peterson. Another victim was a member of the community's crisis response team named Gloria Burns. And she was allegedly out on an emergency call when the attacks happened. Another victim, Lana Head, was a mother of two daughters who worked as a security guard at a casino. And more details about victims continue to come out.

MARTIN: Any more information about possible motive here?

DJURIC: Police do not have any information about motive. They still maintain that some of these attacks were targeted while others were attacked at random.

MARTIN: Reporter Mickey Djuric from the Canadian Press. Thank you so much for sharing your reporting on this. We appreciate it.

DJURIC: Thanks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.