Granthshala News has learned that the prime suspect in the fatal stabbing in Saskatchewan earlier this month died in police custody.
Multiple police sources have told Granthshala News that Miles Sanderson had fatally overdose soon after he was arrested by the RCMP on 7 September, which came after four days of searches across the province.
The RCMP has only said that Sanderson went into “medical crisis” following the police removal of his vehicle, and was later pronounced dead in hospital despite life-saving measures taken by officers and paramedics. A cause of death has not been officially released.
Sanderson, along with his brother Damien Sanderson, was charged with killing 10 people and injuring 18 others in a series of stabbings on September 4 at the James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon, Sask. Damien was found dead the next day. Indigenous Reserve.
On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service announced it would conduct two public investigations next year — one into the September 4 deaths including Damien’s, and the other into the death of Miles Sanderson.
In Saskatchewan, when a person dies in police custody, a public inquiry is mandatory. The Coroner’s Service may also conduct inquiries as a way of notifying the public about sudden unnatural deaths.
Chief coroner Clive Weighil will only tell reporters that preliminary autopsy results show Miles Sanderson did not suffer blunt force trauma.
He said the coroner’s service was still awaiting the final results of his autopsy and a toxicology report, which could take up to four months to complete. The report will not be released to the public until the investigation begins as investigators do not want to sabotage the process, Vighil said.
He said the preliminary results were released because of intense public interest in the matter.
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“We have proper procedures in place in Canada to make sure the public knows what has happened. It takes a while to put a picture together,” Weghill said on Wednesday.
“The last thing we want is to give some preliminary information, and then the witnesses of the interrogation give different information and now we have ‘what exactly happened?’ It’s a real swamp.
“It’s prudent to make sure we have all the information, everything is collected in a proper form and then presented in an investigation.”
The Saskatchewan RCMP has yet to complete an investigation into the killings. An independent investigation into the death of Miles Sanderson is also being conducted by the Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team to determine whether police action played a role, and whether his death could have been prevented.
No timeline was given for when the investigation would end, but Saskatoon police promised that its report would be given to the provincial justice ministry upon completion.
The ministry did not respond to questions from Granthshala News on Tuesday on whether it would release that report to the public after it is received.
On Tuesday, Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino – who previously said the government has “questions” about Miles Sanderson’s death – told reporters in Ottawa that despite the public’s understanding of the urgency of the cause of death. The integrity of the investigation must be respected. ,
“The only way we’re going to be able to address[those concerns]is if we have an independent investigation that’s done by the appropriate authorities, which is following the exact same process that we’re following now. are,” he said.
“Only by following that process can we allow some degree of healing and justice for the community.”
In its most recent statement released last Thursday, Saskatchewan RCMP subsidiary.com. Rhonda Blackmore said police “still don’t know” how Sanderson died and urged patience as the investigation continues.
“I ask you all to remember that this is not a TV drama where we will have all the answers by the end of the episode,” she said. “A complex investigation of this nature takes time and we look forward to providing further details once confirmed.”
— With files from Mercedes Stephenson and Nancy Hickst of Granthshala and the Canadian Press