Nagano: A rare gun and knife attack in Japan kills four people.
A guy has been detained following the deaths of four people in a rare shooting and stabbing incident in Japan.
In Nagano prefecture, the alleged assailant attacked a woman and shot two police officers with a hunting rifle. Later, a fourth fatality was verified.
Masanori Aoki, the 31-year-old son of a local politician, has been identified as the suspect by police.
Despite the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July of last year, gun violence remains very rare in Japan.
Shootings involving numerous police officers are exceedingly rarer, with the most recent incidence occurring more than 30 years ago.
According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, police received a complaint of a guy chasing and then stabbing a woman at around 16:25 (07:25 GMT) on Thursday.
An eyewitness working in a nearby field told Kyodo that the man’s first victim was attacked with a blade around 30cm (1ft) long.
His motivation is unclear. When the witness questioned the suspect about why he stabbed the victim, he allegedly said, “I killed her because I wanted to.”
Mr Aoki allegedly shot police officers who went to the emergency while wearing a camouflage outfit, a hat, sunglasses, and a mask.
It was unclear how the fourth individual, described as an old woman, perished.
Mr Aoki and his mother and aunt eventually holed themselves inside his father’s home in a quiet residential section of Nakano city for over 12 hours. Masamichi Aoki, his father, is the speaker of the Nakano city assembly.
NHK footage showed police cars and ambulances near the house. A 300m (328 yard) exclusion zone was erected around the residence by police personnel wearing body armor and carrying shields.
The suspect’s mother and aunt were seen departing the house hours later, according to Japanese media. The suspect fled the house early Friday morning and was apprehended.
According to local media, Mr. Aoki was a grape farmer who also ran a gelato shop in the area.
Residents were warned to stay at home by email and over the neighborhood loudspeaker, while police went door to door.
Later that evening, local media broadcast footage of gunshots heard shortly after 20:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Thursday.
While the local school was scheduled to close, several residents were forced to spend the night elsewhere. However, after the arrest, people were told they may continue about their business.
“It’s unfortunate that something like this happened in my neighborhood,” a guy in his fifties told NHK. I couldn’t sleep the whole night.”
On Twitter, Japanese netizens expressed astonishment and outrage at the occurrence, with one calling it a “unforgiveable crime.”
Another commenter wondered if the country should brace themselves for more attacks like these.
According to authorities, the suspect possessed a firearm licence.
Japan has tight gun ownership laws that limit people to hunting rifles and airguns. In Japan, purchasing a gun requires a thorough examination as well as mental health testing.
The most recent incidence involving numerous police officers occurred in 1990, when two officers were shot by gang members in Okinawa prefecture.
Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, and his death stunned a country where pistols are illegal and political violence is nearly unheard of.
In 2014, there were only six gun deaths in Japan, compared to 33,599 in the United States.