Tokyo — At least 15 people were killed and another 45 wounded in a knife attack at a residential care center for physically challenged people in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo, Japanese media reported on early Tuesday.
15 people are confirmed dead by the police, according to NHK, while other four are in a state of cardiac arrest, showing no signs of life. Other media, including Kyodo, The Guardian, and CBC reported at least 19 deaths. Dozens have been injured, and at least 13 people in critical condition have been rushed into hospitals in Kanagawa Prefecture.
According to police reports, officers responded to a call at 2:30 a.m. local time after a man dressed in black clothes wielding a knife was seen outside the Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility by an employee of the care center. The man then entered the building, injuring over 40 people, and killing 15 others in a knife rampage.
The 26-year-old suspect, identified as Satoshi Uematsu, managed to flee, but he later turned himself in at the Tsukui Police Station moments after the attack, saying “I did it,” Japan Times reported. The man is a former staff member of the facility. He confessed to police saying “I want to get rid of the disabled from this world,” according to Mirror.
Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility was built by authorities from Kanagawa Prefecture. The care center holds people with physical disabilities of all kinds, from people who can still walk to others that are ridden while laying on their beds.
Attacks like this are extremely unusual in Japan
Previous attacks include the highly-known Osaka School Massacre that took place in 2001 when a man burst into a primary school located in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture. He stabbed eight children to death and wounded other 15. The man was reportedly the former custodian of the school.
In June 2008, the Akihabara Massacre took place. A 25-year-old man drove into a crowd with a truck in the middle of the Akihabara shopping quarter, running people over. He killed three people and injured two. He then got off the truck and stabbed at least 12 people. Four were killed, leaving a total of seven deaths.
In 2010, a man set fire to an all-night adult video shop in Nanba, Osaka. 16 people were killed. In 2015, only one gun-related death was reported in Japan, with just eight crimes involving gunfire were committed.
My heart goes out to the friends and family of the victims in Japan. A prayer for those fighting for their lives. Love. Please. Love.
— Jamie Tworkowski (@jamietworkowski) July 25, 2016
Source: Japan Times