A person armed with a rifle and knife killed a lady and two cops and injured one other individual on Thursday within the central Japanese metropolis of Nakano earlier than fleeing and shutting himself inside a house for a number of hours, the police mentioned.
It was an astonishing burst of violence in Japan, the place gun-related homicides and different gun incidents are exceedingly uncommon. Legal guidelines governing the acquisition and possession of firearms in Japan are among the many strictest on this planet.
The attacker, who reportedly informed a witness he “wished to kill,” stabbed the girl earlier than opening hearth on cops arriving on the scene. The fourth sufferer, a person, was in essential situation, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK mentioned.
The police mentioned that the suspect was captured early Friday morning after retreating right into a home near town middle. The house belonged to a neighborhood elected official, whom NHK recognized because the suspect’s mom. The police confirmed late Thursday that two ladies had escaped from the home.
About 60 close by residents had been evacuated to a neighborhood junior highschool, in line with native media, and the authorities had warned others to remain indoors.
A witness to the assault informed NHK that he was working in a area when a younger girl ran towards him, pleading for assist as a person carrying camouflage, a hat and a masks chased after her. The person then stabbed her within the again, inflicting her to fall down, after which stabbed her once more within the chest.
“I requested him, ‘Why you’re doing this?’” the witness informed the broadcaster. “He answered, ‘I killed her as a result of I wished to kill.’”
The suspect left the scene however returned with a rifle after two cops arrived in response to the stabbing, the witness mentioned. Holding the muzzle towards the window of their police automotive, the suspect shot twice and fled the scene once more.
The brutality within the rising particulars of the assault, together with the stabbing of a lady in public and the killing of cops, made it “a particularly uncommon” occasion, mentioned Dr. Fabio Gygi, chairman of the Japan Analysis Centre at SOAS College of London.
“A direct assault on police can also be a direct assault on authority normally,” he mentioned. “There’s something very stunning about that.”
It was additionally certain to set off recollections of the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot with a home made gun final 12 months, he mentioned.
“The shock of the assassination continues to be so uncooked,” Dr. Gygi mentioned. “It hasn’t been even a 12 months.”
In all of 2022, simply 9 gun-related incidents had been reported in Japan, which has a inhabitants of 125 million individuals, in line with the Nationwide Police Company. 4 individuals died from gun crime in that interval.
Firearms aren’t permitted within the nation, in precept, with exceptions for searching. To acquire a license, an individual should undergo a 12-step course of — a laborious and costly course of that few individuals undertake. It features a gun-safety class, passing a written examination and getting a physician to log off on the bodily and psychological well being of the gun purchaser. Gun patrons should go an in depth background test and a police inspection of the gun protected and ammunition locker used to retailer the weapons.