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Police officers among four killed in gun and knife attack in Japan

Police guard the street near the building where the man was hiding in Nakano. Photo: AP

Japanese police have detained a man who barricaded himself in a building after he allegedly killed four people, including two police officers, in a gun and knife attack.

The suspect was arrested near a farm near the city of Nakano in the Nagano region early Friday morning.< /p>

It was a rare case of violent crime in Japan, which has a low homicide rate and some of the strictest gun laws in the world.

Local media identified the suspect as the son of a politician. Masamichi Aoki, Speaker of the Nakano City Assembly.

Allegedly, he stabbed his victims with a large knife, and then fired a hunting rifle at two police officers who had arrived to call the emergency services.

Then a man hid inside his parents' house. His mother and another woman managed to escape from home on Thursday evening.

Authorities have urged people to stay at home in a semi-rural area of ​​central Japan after riots broke out on Thursday afternoon.

The officers killed have been identified as Yoshiki Tamai, 46, and Takuo Ikeuchi, 61.


One of the victims was a local woman named Yuki Murakami, 66 years old.

An eyewitness told public broadcaster NHK that he was working on a nearby farm when “a woman ran out of the road saying, 'Help me,' and fell.” #34;.

“A man in camouflage and with a large knife appeared behind her and stabbed her in the back.” said a 72-year-old witness.

He said he called emergency services while neighbors were trying to resuscitate Ms Murakami.

NHK, citing police, said the assailant then fired a what appeared to be a shotgun fired at the officers who arrived on the scene.

The officers were in the patrol car, and the assailant held a gun to the car window and fired twice, according to NHK.

p >Motives for the attack are unknown.

Last July, Japan was shocked when former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead in broad daylight with an apparently homemade weapon.

Tetsuya Yamagami, accused of killing Abe, is reported to have targeted the politician because of his ties to the Unification Church.

And last month, a man was arrested for allegedly throwing what looked like a pipe bomb at the prime minister. Fumio Kishida on his campaign trail in the western city of Wakayama.

The video showed the moment an explosive device landed a few feet from Mr. Kishida, prompting a quick response from his security team who dragged him away and jumped. on the suspect.

A group of fishermen were hailed as heroes after they caught the suspect.

The prime minister was not injured, and the man detained at the scene will undergo a three-month psychiatric evaluation, the regional court said this week.

The suspect has reportedly remained silent about his motive for this failed attack.

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