Spread the love

James Smith attacks: “This is the worst thing I’ve seen in my career” | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

Open in full screen mode

“It was a very chaotic situation,” explained Darren Simons during his testimony. (Archive photo)

  • Vincent H. Turgeon (View profile) Vincent H. Turgeon

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

The fourth day of the coroner's inquest into the attacks that occurred on September 4, 2022 in Saskatchewan began with the testimony of the detachment commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) from Melfort at the time of the tragedy, Darren Simons.

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 the neighboring village of Weldon, Saskatchewan. This is the worst stabbing attack in Canadian history.

A three-day manhunt followed until, on September 7, the police spotted the car in which Myles Sanderson was traveling 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.

Now retired, the former staff sergeant took up his post in Melfort in July 2022, only one month and half before the killing. At the time of the tragedy, he had only been to the James Smith Cree Nation once or twice.

It was a very chaotic situation, he says, describing his arrival in the community on September 4, 2022.

I saw several injured people […], several ambulances. It didn't seem real to me.

A quote from Darren Simons, Melfort RCMP detachment commander at the time of the attacks

Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

Consult the complete file

Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

Consult the complete file


It's the worst thing I've seen in my career, without hesitation, he says.

With emotion, the former police officer emphasizes how proud he was of the work of his team that morning, despite the seriousness of the situation. Several police officers, on leave, on vacation or working in other detachments, came to lend a hand to the team. It also highlights the cooperation on the part of the leaders of the First Nation.

Coroner's inquest : could we reopen wounds that are difficult to heal ?.BROADCAST HERE FIRST.Point of the day.

Coroner's Inquest&amp ;nbsp;: could we reopen wounds that are difficult to heal ?


Listen to the audio (Coroner's inquest: could we reopen wounds difficult to bandage ?. 12 minutes 55 seconds)

During his cross-examination, Darren Simons, holding back tears, s& #x27;is also apologized to the daughter of Earls Burns Sr., who died on his school bus while chasing Myles Sanderson, even though he himself had been stabbed moments before.

I'm sorry unable to provide quicker help to your father.

A quote from Darren Simons, Melfort RCMP detachment commander at the time of the attacks

Despite the hopes of some members of the James Smith Cree Nation, Darren Simons does not believe that having two gendarmes based in the First Nation would allow for a faster police response. He explains that such a measure would not mean that the two police officers would be continually in the community.

According to former staff sergeant, the security team put in place by the First Nation following the attacks is the best solution, allowing the RCMP to have eyes and ears within the First Nation itself. community.

Open in full screen mode

Several positions were vacant at the Melfort RCMP detachment in September 2022. (File photo)

Cross-examined by Cree Nation lawyer James Smith, Darren Simons acknowledges that his detachment faced a manpower shortage in September 2022. However, he does not believe that the reduced team hindered the response offered by the RCMP since members of other detachments came to lend a hand.

Like his former colleague David Miller on Wednesday, Darren Simons also acknowledges that the fact that addresses and street names are not always displayed may have caused some confusion among first responders.

The testimony of the ex-wife of Myles Sanderson, the man responsible for the attacks, is expected during the afternoon.

Since the beginning of the investigation, only members of the RCMP have testified.

Open in full screen mode

The coroner's inquest is being held at the Kerry Vickar Center in Melfort, approximately 40 km from the two communities affected by the attacks.

Proceedings began Monday with a timeline of events, both the timing of the attacks and Myles' whereabouts Sanderson and his brother, Damien Sanderson, in the preceding days.

The first two police officers to visit the premises were then able to describe their arrival in the James Smith Cree Nation and the way in which they managed the crisis.

The Melfort RCMP detachment commander also described the operation of his detachment and its relationship with the First Nation.

Having started Monday, the coroner's investigation aims to shed light on the deaths of the various victims, in particular the manner in which these people were killed, as well as the time and place where this happened. 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.

  • Vincent H. Turgeon (View profile)Vincent H. TurgeonFollow
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