At least 19 peo­ple killed, dozens in­jured in at­tack at fa­cil­ity for the dis­abled out­side Tokyo

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

TOKYO — At least 19 peo­ple were killed and about 20 wounded in a knife at­tack early Tues­day at a fa­cil­ity for the hand­i­capped in a city just out­side Tokyo in a rare case of mass vi­o­lence in Ja­pan, ac­cord­ing to Ja­panese me­dia re­ports.

Po­lice said they re­sponded to a call about 2:30 a.m. from an em­ployee say­ing some­thing hor­ri­ble was hap­pen­ing at the fa­cil­ity in the city of Sagami­hara, west of Tokyo.

A man turned him­self in at a po­lice sta­tion about two hours later, po­lice in Sagami­hara said. He left the knife in his car when he en­tered the sta­tion. He has been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of at­tempted mur­der and tres­pass­ing.

Po­lice said there were sev­eral ca­su­al­ties, but did not pro­vide any num­bers. Ja­panese broad­caster NHK said 15 peo­ple were killed and 20 were wounded, while Kyodo News Service put the death toll at 19, in­clud­ing four who were crit­i­cally in­jured and later de­clared dead.

A wo­man who lives across from the fa­cil­ity told NHK that she saw po­lice cars en­ter the fa­cil­ity around 3:30 a.m.

“I was told by a po­lice­man to stay in­side my house, as it could be danger­ous,” she said. “Then am­bu­lances be­gan ar­riv­ing, and blood-cov­ered peo­ple were taken away.”

NHK re­ported the sus­pect, 26, is a former em­ployee at the fa­cil­ity, Tsukui Ya­mayuri-en. Another broad­caster, NTV, said he broke into the fa­cil­ity by smash­ing a win­dow with a ham­mer, and that he was up­set be­cause he had been fired, but that could not be in­de­pen­dently con­firmed.

TV footage showed a num­ber of am­bu­lances parked out­side the fa­cil­ity, with med­i­cal and other res­cue work­ers run­ning in and out.

Mass killings are rel­a­tively rare in Ja­pan, which has ex­tremely strict gun-con­trol laws. In 2008, seven peo­ple were killed by a man who slammed a truck into a crowd of peo­ple in cen­tral Tokyo’s Ak­i­habara elec­tron­ics district and then stabbed passersby.

Four­teen were in­jured in 2010 by an un­em­ployed man who stabbed and beat up pas­sen­gers on two pub­lic buses out­side a Ja­panese train sta­tion in Ibaraki Pre­fec­ture, about 40 kilo­me­tres north­east of Tokyo.


Po­lice of­fi­cers stand by with am­bu­lances and fire trucks on Tues­day on a street near a fa­cil­ity for the hand­i­capped where a num­ber of peo­ple were killed and dozens in­jured in a knife at­tack in Sagami­hara, out­side Tokyo.

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