A man in Nagano Prefecture attacked with a gun and knife, killing four people, including two police officers.
A witness on May 25 said he was working on a farm in Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture, when “a woman ran out of the street saying ‘help me’ and fell”.
“Behind her was a man in camouflage, holding a large knife,” said the 72-year-old witness. After the woman fell, about 3 meters from the witness, the suspect stabbed her in the back with a knife.
“Why did you do that?” asked the man. “I kill because I want to,” said the suspect, leaving the scene.
The witness then called an ambulance and neighbors tried to administer first aid to the victim. When the police car arrived at the scene, the assailant turned around and opened fire on the vehicle, killing two police officers.
The woman was stabbed and died in hospital. The two police officers killed were identified as Yoshiki Tamai, 46, and Takuo Ikeuchi, 61. Authorities have urged people in Nakano to stay indoors until it is safe.
Kyodo news agency reported that the suspect, in his 30s, is the son of the president of the Nakano city council.
Police near the scene of a stabbing and shooting incident in Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture, on May 25. Photo: Kyodo
The suspect was arrested around 4:30 am on May 26 outside a farm near Nakano City. A city council spokesman said the suspect had been hiding at his father’s home for hours.
Two women, including the suspect’s mother, escaped the house, but one of them later died.
This is a rare instance of violence in Japan, where homicide rates are low and gun laws are among the strictest in the world. Anyone in Japan who wants to own a gun must go through a rigorous vetting process before obtaining a license. The motive for the attack on Nakano is unknown.
Last July, Japan was shocked when former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated in broad daylight with a homemade weapon. Suspect Tetsuya Yamagami is said to have targeted Mr. Abe because of his ties to the Unification Church.
And last month, a man was arrested for allegedly throwing an explosive device at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida while campaigning in the western city of Wakayama. Mr. Kishida was not injured in the incident. The suspect will receive a psychiatric evaluation for three months before prosecutors decide whether to prosecute him.
Huyen Le (According to AFP, Reuters, Japan Times)