A man armed with a rifle and knife killed three people and injured another on Thursday in the city of Nakano in central Japan, before fleeing and shutting himself inside a building, Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, reported.
The attacker, who reportedly told a witness he “wanted to kill,” stabbed one woman before opening fire on the police as they arrived on the scene, killing two officers and wounding one other male victim, the broadcaster said. Official details of the rampage remain unclear, but the suspect had not been arrested as of late Thursday evening, and the police have warned residents in the area to stay indoors.
A witness to the incident told NHK that he was working in a field when a young woman ran toward him, pleading for help as a man wearing camouflage, a hat and a mask chased after her. The man then stabbed her in the back, causing her to fall down, and then stabbed her again in the chest.
“I asked him, “Why you are doing this?” the witness told the broadcaster. “He answered ‘I killed her because I wanted to kill.’”
The suspect then left the scene, before returning with a rifle after two police officers arrived by car in response to the stabbing, the witness said. The suspect then held the muzzle of his gun against the car window and shot into the car twice, before fleeing the scene again.
The police in the surrounding Nagano prefecture said they could not comment on the situation at the moment.
This is a developing story.
Isabella Kwai is a breaking news reporter in the London bureau. She joined The Times in 2017 as part of the Australia bureau. @bellakwai
Hisako Ueno has been reporting on Japanese politics, business, gender, labor and culture for The Times since 2012. She previously worked for the Tokyo bureau of The Los Angeles Times from 1999 to 2009. @hudidi1
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