They were neighbors, friends and family, mothers, aunts and uncles, as old as 78 and as young as 23. Elders who had so much to share and young people just beginning their life's journey.
All but one are from the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada, victims of one of the largest mass killings in the country’s history.
The release of the names Wednesday of the 10 people killed in the "horrific" stabbing spree Sunday confirmed what social media had already told the world – that virtually everyone in the small First Nations community in central Canada had been touched by the violence.
— Canadian police arrest 2nd suspect in stabbing rampage
— Canada grieves after ‘horrific’ massacre in Cree community
— Mother of two among 10 dead, 15 injured in violent Saskatchewan stabbing spree
— Multiple stabbings reported on James Smith Cree Nation
The Saskatchewan Coroner's Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police released the names of those killed. Many family members gathered at the press conference for the release.
The police offered their condolences once again, just hours before authorities arrested the remaining suspect at large, Myles Sanderson, 32, who is also reported to be a citizen of the James Smith Cree Nation.
“Our hearts continue to go out to all the families and loved ones impacted by this immense tragedy,” officials said.
Myles Sanderson and his brother, Damien Sanderson, 30, were charged in the rampage, but Damien was later found dead. Myles Sanderson, who had a long criminal history, was found Wednesday near the town of Rosthern.
The pair was accused of knocking on doors and attacking people inside about a dozen homes on the James Smith Cree Nation on Sunday, Sept. 4, before moving on to the nearby village of Weldon, where 78-year-old Wesley Petterson was killed in his home.
Petterson is believed to be the only non-Indigenous victim killed in the massacre, which also left 18 people injured, including a 14-year-old boy.
The youngest person killed was 23-year-old Thomas Burns, and the oldest person killed in the Cree community was 66-year-old Earl Burns. Most of those who died were also named Burns, including Carol Burns, 46; Gregory Burns, 28; Lydia Gloria Burns, 61; and Bonnie Burns, 48.
Also killed were Lana Head, 49; Christian Head; and Robert Sanderson, 49.
Police would not say if or how the victims were related.
Victims services officials were working closely with the Saskatchewan RCMP major crimes division to communicate with the families of the victims.
As of Tuesday, 10 of those injured remained in hospitals, including three in critical condition, according to APTN National News.
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A reported sighting of Myles Sanderson Tuesday on the Cree Nation prompted police to swarm the area and issue an alert that was later canceled.
Then on Wednesday, after a three-day manhunt, authorities spotted Sanderson and rammed his vehicle.
Myles had been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and breaking-and-entering, and additional charges are likely to follow, police said. Officials are also investigating whether he killed his brother, who they say did not kill himself.
The James Smith Cree Nation, north of Montana, is a small community, with about 3,400 citizens, including about 1,900 of whom live on the reserve. It is composed of three communities, the James Smith Cree Nation, the Peter Chapman First Nation and Chakastaypasin First Nation.
The 10 people killed in the rampage are:
- Thomas Burns, 23, James Smith Cree Nation
- Carol Burns, 46, James Smith Cree Nation
- Gregory Burns, 28, James Smith Cree Nation
- Lydia Gloria Burns, 61, James Smith Cree Nation
- Bonnie Burns, 48, James Smith Cree Nation
- Earl Burns, 66, James Smith Cree Nation
- Lana Head, 49, James Smith Cree Nation
- Christian Head, 54, James Smith Cree Nation
- Robert Sanderson, 49, James Smith Cree Nation
- Wesley Petterson, 78, Weldon
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