World

Car used by suspects in Canada mass stabbing pictured – as possible motive emerges

An image of the car used by two men suspected of killing 10 people in a mass stabbing in Canada has been released – as details of some of the victims and a possible motive emerged.

At least 15 other people were wounded in the series of knife attacks in an indigenous community and a nearby town in Saskatchewan province.

It is one of the deadliest mass killings in Canada‘s history.

Two suspects – Damien Sanderson, 31, and 30-year-old Myles Sanderson – remain on the run, with a black Nissan Rogue carrying the pair spotted more than 200 miles south of the area where the stabbings occurred.

Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks next to images of Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson during a press conference at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "F" Division headquarters in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.  
PIC:AP
Image:
Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson have been named as suspects. Pic: AP

A woman posted a photo on Facebook of the vehicle, writing in the caption: “This is my brothers [sic] vehicle that they took when they entered our home this morning in James Smith Cree Nation.

“We (can’t) care less about the vehicle but let these monsters be caught.”

Police have not revealed a possible motive, but a statement from an indigenous group suggested the stabbings could be drug-related.

Myles Sanderson has been “unlawfully at large” since May when a local crimestoppers appeal was issued in a bid to trace him.

He had been serving an almost five-year sentence for offences including assault and robbery and was given parole but then disappeared, according to CBC News.

Who were the victims?

Some of the victims appear to have been attacked at random, while others are thought to have been targeted, officers have said.

One of the victims was named as Lana Head, whose former partner posted a heartfelt tribute on Facebook.

Michael Brett Burns, who had two daughters with Ms Head, wrote: “You will be missed dearly Lana. Thank you for beautiful daughters and granddaughters. Love.”

Canada   victim Lana Head 
caption reads - ou will be missed dearly Lana. Thank you for beautiful daughters and granddaughters. Love..
Image:
Lana Head, a mother-of-two, was killed in the mass stabbing

Speaking to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Mr Burns said: “It’s sick how jail time, drugs, and alcohol can destroy many lives. I’m hurt for all this loss.”

Another victim was named as Wes Petterson, a 77-year-old widower, described by local residents as a “good, kind-hearted man” who “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.

His adult grandson was in the basement at the time and phoned police, a neighbour said.

The attacks happened at multiple locations in the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon, with police investigating 13 crime scenes.

‘We will not stop until suspects in custody’

In an update on Monday, Evan Bray, chief of the Regina police service, said the two suspects were “still at the large” despite “ongoing, relentless efforts” to find them.

“We will not stop this investigation until we have those two safely in custody,” he said.

“We are confident that someone out there knows the whereabouts of these two and has information that would be valuable to police.

“I urge you to get in touch with your local police service to let us know.

“There’s a lot of grief, there’s a lot of anxiety in our province and in our communities.”

Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, said: “This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we demand all authorities to take direction from the chiefs and councils and their membership to create safer and healthier communities for our people.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the incidents as “horrific and heartbreaking” while the province’s premier, Scott Moe, tweeted he had no words to “adequately describe the pain and loss caused by this senseless violence”.

Large numbers of people were in the area, as a sold-out bank holiday Canadian Football League game was taking place in nearby Regina.

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