Saskatchewan stabbings suspect’s criminal record 2 decades long

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A fugitive wanted in a deadly Saskatchewan shooting spree has a nearly two-decade criminal record and a propensity for violence when intoxicated, according to a parole board document.

The February Parole Board of Canada document says Myles Sanderson told the board that regular use of drugs and heavy alcohol would cause him to “lose his mind” and become angry.

“Your criminal history is of great concern, including the use of violence and weapons in connection with your index offenses and your history of domestic violence,” the document, obtained by The Canadian Press, said.

RCMP did not say what motivated Sunday’s attacks, which killed 10 people and wounded 18 on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon, northeast of Saskatoon. Police believe some victims were attacked, others were chosen at random.

Sanderson’s brother Damien Sanderson, also a suspect in the murders, was found dead on the First Nation Monday morning, becoming the 11th fatality.

Police are still searching for Myles Sanderson and he has been issued with an arrest warrant for first degree murder, attempted murder and burglary.

Sanderson was legally paroled from prison in August 2021, but she was revoked about four months later because the board said he failed to communicate with his parole officer.

In the document, the board said it had decided to restore his statutory release with a reprimand.

“The Board believes that if you are released on a statutory discharge you will not pose an undue risk to society and that your release will help protect society by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen.”

Sanderson was serving his first federal sentence of more than four years, four months and 19 days for a series of felonies including assault, assault with a weapon, assault on a peace officer and robbery. In total, the document states, he has 59 criminal convictions.

Sanderson’s childhood was marked by violence, neglect, and substance abuse, leading to a “cycle of substance abuse, negative peer seeking, and violent behavior,” the document says. He lived between his father’s home in an urban center and his grandparents’ home on a First Nation. There was violence and abuse in both households, it said.

Sanderson began drinking and smoking marijuana around the age of 12 to help cope with problems, the document said. Cocaine soon followed.

“You can be easily upset when you’re drunk, but you’re a different person when you’re sober,” the decision reads.

The board said many of his crimes occurred while he was in a state of intoxication.

In 2017, Sanderson went into a house where his ex-girlfriend and two children lived. The children were taken upstairs to a bathroom and placed in a tub for protection, the document said.

“They went upstairs and acted in a threatening manner, talking about the gang and punching a hole in the bathroom door to scare the kids,” the decision reads.

Sanderson fled before police arrived, but a few days later he tried to fight a First Nation band employee and threatened to kill him and burn down his parents’ home, the document said.

A few months later, Sanderson threatened an accomplice and forced him to rob a fast-food restaurant by hitting him in the head with a gun and trampling on him, the decision said. Sanderson watched the robbery from the outside.

In 2018, the board said Sanderson was drinking in a house and got angry at the people he was with. It was said he stabbed two of them with a fork, then attacked a man walking nearby and beat him until the man passed out in a ditch.

Sanderson was at his partner’s house two months later. During the arrest, he repeatedly kicked an officer in the face and head, the decision said.

The board said Sanderson appears to have maintained sobriety and found employment. He participated in cultural ceremonies and had found a home for his family. The board said it appeared he was making good progress in re-integrating into society.

The board said if he stayed sober his risk would be manageable. He was released on condition not to contact his partner or children except as necessary for parental responsibility.

In May, a Crime Stoppers Bulletin was issued for Sanderson, warning him that he was unlawfully at large.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations on Monday urged anyone with information about their whereabouts to contact police.

Uncertainty over the suspect’s whereabouts is causing immeasurable stress to Indigenous families, friends and neighbors, Chief Bobby Cameron said.

“You’ve been through enough,” Cameron said. “We must do everything in our power to help end this tragedy with no further casualties.”

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