Police officers guard the site of a man suspected of murder in Nakano, Japan, on May 26, 2023.
Japanese police arrested a man on Friday who barricaded himself in a building after four people were killed, including two policemen, in a knife and gun attack, a police official told AFP.
A man was taken into custody at a property near the city of Nakano, in Nagano prefecture (central Japan), after police confirmed a fourth victim, an old woman who was found injured at the scene of the attack and later died.
An Internet spokesman told AFP that a 31-year-old suspect had been arrested in connection with two women and two police officers at local time (7:30 am GMT on Thursday). He was later charged with murder with a hunting weapon.
No possible motive for the killing has been announced and the suspect has not been formally identified, although local media have indicated that he is the son of the chairman of the Nakano municipal assembly.
“We pray for the souls of the deceased and express our sincere condolences to the bereaved families,” government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
The attack began on Thursday afternoon when a man working on a farm saw a woman “running off the road and saying ‘help me,'” the man told national broadcaster NHK.
– the hunt will be raided –
“Behind her came a man in a camouflage suit with a large knife who stabbed her in the back,” said a 72-year-old witness who called emergency services.
He later used what appeared to be shotguns to fire at the police who arrived on the scene, killing the two officers.
According to local media, the man barricaded himself in his father’s house, from where two women fled, one of whom is suspected to be his mother-in-law.
The man was finally arrested on Friday. A woman was found injured inside the home, who was later pronounced dead.
Intentional killings are very rare in Japan, where gun ownership is highly regulated.
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However, the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot dead with a homemade firearm while delivering a presidential speech in Nara (in the west), shocked Japan last year.
Last month, a young man was caught with a hand-made explosive device that led to current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was visiting a small fishing port in Wakayama prefecture. Cishida was unharmed.