The killing spree lasted all night. Japanese police confirmed on Friday that they had arrested a maniac suspected of killing four people, including two police officers, in a stabbing and shooting attack in a semi-rural area of Nagano Prefecture.
The suspect, who had been holed up since Thursday afternoon inside a house with a farm in Nakano (northeast of Nagano city), was arrested at dawn on Friday, a security guard said. word of the local police to AFP. A woman who was injured but could not be rescued succumbed to her injuries, bringing the death toll to four, the spokesperson added.
Son of a local elected official
On Thursday afternoon, another woman was stabbed in the back by the suspect, who is said to be in his thirties. The madman then shot and killed two police officers who had just arrived on the scene, before taking refuge in the house which belonged to his father, who would be a local elected official from Nakano, according to the Kyodo News news agency.
The local police had specified in the night that two women had been able to leave the building before the arrest of the suspect: one around 8:35 p.m. and the other shortly after midnight. One of them was the suspect’s own mother, according to Kyodo.
“I was working on a farm when just after 4:00 p.m. a woman came running from the road saying ‘help me’ and then she fell,” a witness told state broadcaster NHK on Thursday. “Behind her was a man in camouflage with a long knife, who stabbed her in the back,” he added.
This 72-year-old witness said he then called the emergency services, and neighbors tried to revive the victim by giving him cardiac massage, in vain. According to NHK citing the police, the madman then fired a shotgun at police who had just arrived on the scene. The police were inside their vehicle, and the maniac would have placed his weapon against a window and fired twice, according to NHK. The inhabitants of the surrounding area had been called by the local authorities to confine themselves.
Voluntary homicides are very rare in Japan, where the carrying of firearms is highly regulated. But Japan was rocked last year by the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was killed with a homemade firearm while delivering an election speech in Nara, in the west of the country.
And last month, a young man was arrested after throwing an improvised explosive device at incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was traveling to a small fishing port in Wakayama prefecture. Kishida escaped unscathed.