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'He loved kids': Memorial grows for bus driver who pursued Sask. stabbing suspects


A shrine has sprung up on the spot where a school bus driver died while pursuing a pair of mass stabbing suspects.

"We decided to put the memorial here because this is where he took his last breath," Earl Burns' sister Marie Sanderson told CTV News

Burns, 66, was one of the 10 victims killed in the Sept. 4 mass stabbing rampage on James Smith Cree Nation (JSCN) and in the village of Weldon. The two suspects — brothers Myles and Damien Sanderson — are dead.

A school bus left in memory of Earl Burns on James Smith Cree Nation. (Tyler Barrow/CTV News)

Eighteen people were also injured in the attacks.

According to his family, Burns was chasing after the suspects in the same school bus he used to take kids to class on JSCN.

The Canadian Armed Forces veteran's pursuit of the alleged killers ended when he died from his injuries, a family member told CTV News — with the bus coming to a stop in a ditch.

A memorial that began as a wooden cross with cement-poured base began to grow after Burns was laid to rest, according to Sanderson.

"People started bringing the wreaths here to honour him, probably for all that he's done for the community," Sanderson said.

Many mourners have added wreaths to Earl Burns' memorial on James Smith Cree Nation. (Tyler Barrow/CTV News)Burns had driven a school bus in the community for more than 20 years, according to his sister.

"He loved kids," Sanderson said.

She said Burns' family hope to leave the cross standing "forever."

Burns was honoured at veteran's events over the weekend in Prince Albert, Sask. and Sylvan Lake, Alta.

With files from Tyler Barrow. Top Stories

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