What we know about the victims of the Sask. stabbing spree

A first responder, a veteran and a 77-year-old widower are among the victims identified in a stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan that claimed the lives of 10 people and injured 18 others.

A multi-day search for the suspects, 31-year-old Damien Sanderson and his younger brother Myles Sanderson, 30, began on Sunday following multiple reports of stabbings on the James Smith Cree Nation – about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon – and nearby village of Weldon.

On Monday, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore confirmed they had found the deceased body of one of the suspects, Damien, at James Smith Cree Nation with injuries that were not believed to have been self-inflicted. The RCMP say his brother Myles is still at large.

Police have not identified a motive, but noted some of the victims may have been targeted while others were attacked at random.

On Wednesday, Saskatchewan RCMP released the names of all 10 victims.

The victims include 23-year-old Thomas Burns, 46-year-old Carol Burns, 28-year-old Gregory Burns, 61-year-old Lydia Gloria Burns, 48-year-old Bonnie Burns, 66-year-old Earl Burns, 49-year-old Lana Head, 54-year-old Christian Head, 49-year-old Robert Sanderson and 78-year-old Wesley Petterson. 

Here’s how some friends and relatives are remembering the people they lost: 


Wesley Pettersen was killed Sunday morning at his home in the village of Weldon. Neighbours described him as a 77-year-old widower.

“He was just a lovely man,” Doreen Lees of Weldon told Reuters.

He’s being remembered for his humour and kindness.


Lydia Gloria Burns is being remembered as a respected elder who helped people with addiction.

Her brother, Darryl Burns, said she was a first responder who went to a crisis call at the James Smith Cree Nation and died after getting caught up in the violence.

“My sister lived her life to the best of her ability helping people,” he told CTV News.

“Gloria was an avid helper and great asset to our community,” Twitter user Stephanie Tee wrote.

“Gloria loved helping people,” Joan Strong posted on Facebook. “She worked at a healing lodge and helped many of us Indigenous people.”


Earl Burns is also confirmed to be among the victims.

The Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association said in a post on Facebook that he was a veteran, adding that it was “sending out our most sincere condolences to the Burns Family.”

It is believed that there are more members of the family among the victims still yet to be identified.


Among those killed is Lana Head. One of her daughters posted a photo of her mother on Facebook, writing, “My mother didn’t deserve that. It’s so sad. I love you mom. I know you’ll be watching over all of us.”

Friends and loved ones have been posting tributes to Head across social media. Melodie Whitecap, a childhood friend of Head’s, according to Reuters, wrote that this attack was “not the way I wanted her to leave this world.”

With files from Alexandra Mae Jones, CTV National News Winnipeg Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon and Reuters

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