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James Smith attacks: killer deemed 'impulsive, irritable and remorseless' | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

11 people lost their lives and 17 others were injured in the September 4, 2022 stabbing attacks in the James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon, Saskatchewan.

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“Impulsive, irritable and remorseless”: this is how Matt Logan, psychologist to criminal investigations, describes Myles Sanderson, the author of the attacks that occurred on September 4, 2022 in Saskatchewan, as part of the coroner's inquest which aims to shed light on this tragedy.

On September 4, 2022, Myles Sanderson stabbed 11 people, including his brother, Damien Sanderson, and injured 17 others in the James Smith Cree Nation and neighboring village of Weldon, Saskatchewan. This is the worst stabbing attack in Canadian history.

A manhunt followed for three days until the police spotted the car in which Myles Sanderson was traveling on September 7 near the village of Rosthern, 66 km northeast of Saskatoon.

Shortly after his arrest, the fugitive found himself in respiratory distress. Paramedics were called to the scene to take him to a Saskatoon hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead.

Child of a mother who consumed alcohol during pregnancy, Myles Sanderson would have experienced a childhood filled with abuse and instability, explains the psychologist.

Young Myles changed schools several times before finally dropping out in 10th grade.

Although he appears to have been involved in street gangs as a teenager, Matt Logan claims that Myles grew out of it around age 17.

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What happens during childhood becomes very important as an adult, explains the psychologist.

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Myles Sanderson , the perpetrator of the September 2022 attacks, died shortly after his arrest. (Archive photo)

Despite the killer's impulsive and quick-to-anger nature, Matt Logan doesn't believe that the attacks of September 4, 2022 were impulsive and spontaneous. According to him, some planning must have been done by Myles in the days or weeks leading up to the tragedy.

An analysis which echoes the testimony of Skye Sanderson heard Thursday at the end of the day. The latter claimed that two weeks before the attacks, Myles confided his desire to kill Vanessa Burns, his partner, to his brother Damien. And when I do, I'm going to kill 10 other people, he even added.

Quite often, explains Matt Logan, revenge lies behind mass shootings. In this case, the psychologist notices that Myles Sanderson mentioned the street gang Terror Squad a few times before and during the attacks. We don't know what the gang did to him, but we do know that Myles was deeply against this organization.

This hatred of Terror Squad would indeed have been one of the main factors, adds Staff Sergeant Carl Sesely, expert in psychological profiling and threat assessment.

According to his analysis, Myles Sanderson's objective, at the time of his act, was to attack, injure, assassinate people against whom he had grievances.

These grievances could be personal conflicts, drug debts, or a perception that these people were associated with the Terror Squad. Others, however, were injured or killed simply because they were associated with Myles' primary targets, notes Carl Sesely. These people therefore became, by association, secondary targets for the killer.

Carl Sesely specifies, however, that some of the victims, injured or killed, were because they tried to stop the killing by obstructing Myles' path.

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Bonnie's grave Burns, who died during the attacks. (File photo)

Despite the horror of this tragedy, Staff Sergeant believes that Myles Sanderson knew what he was doing. During the attacks, he interacted with some members of the community without harming them. Now, Sesely explains, if Myles' goal was simply to kill, he would have attacked anyone unlucky enough to cross his path. He would not have spared certain people.

Despite the 11 victims who lost their lives during these attacks, Carl Sesely believes that Vanessa Burns, Myles Sanderson's then-wife, could have been the twelfth.

We have the impression that Myles was not finished with his killing spree, explains- he. We believe he wanted to go to Saskatoon to kill Vanessa Burns.

The latter recounted the abusive relationship on Thursday in which she was with her ex-partner.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard testimony from Mandy Maier, a member of the strategic communications team at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Saskatchewan.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The latter explained that between September 4 and 7, 2022, 12 emergency alerts were sent to the public. A number which has sometimes been criticized.

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Although necessary, the alert can also identify the position of police officers and victims who may be in a dangerous situation near the suspect, explains Mandy Maier (File photo)

Ms. Maier acknowledges that there may be a risk that public vigilance will diminish with such a large number of ;#x27;alerts in a short time. She emphasizes, however, that no research on the subject has been done at the moment.

Several alerts in the first hours following the tragedy had a photo that misidentified Myles Sanderson. Questioned on this subject, Ms. Maier admits that this false information came from human error. The falsely identified individual had, according to the RCMP system, the same name, height and community of origin as the killer.

The coroner's inquest began Monday with a chronology of events, both the timing of the attacks and the comings and goings of Myles Sanderson and his brother, Damien Sanderson, in the preceding days.

The first two police officers to arrive at the scene were then able to describe their arrival in the James Smith Cree Nation and the way they handled the crisis.

The Melfort RCMP detachment commander at the time of the attacks said also testified, saying that the day of the tragedy was “the worst thing [he] saw in [his] career.”

The coroner's investigation aims to shed light on the deaths of the various victims, in particular the manner, time and place where they were killed. It also aims to make recommendations to prevent such a tragedy from repeating itself.

A second inquest into the death of Myles Sanderson is scheduled for February.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116