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Stabbing spree near Tokyo leaves 2 victims and suspect dead, 14 injured

Emergency workers tend to the injured near the scene of a stabbing in Tama Ward in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, at 8:31 a.m. on May 28, 2019, seen in this photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter. (Mainichi)

KAWASAKI -- An elementary school girl and a man in his 30s believed to be the parent of another student are dead and 14 other people are injured after a man went on a stabbing rampage here on the morning of May 28, Kanagawa Prefectural Police said.

Officers apprehended a man they believed was the perpetrator, but he subsequently died.

Police received a call at around 7:45 a.m. on May 28 from a woman who was on her way to work that there had been a "street slasher," and that multiple people had been stabbed in the Shinmachi district in this city's Tama Ward.

A woman in her 40s and two elementary school girls are seriously injured. Based on the circumstances of the attack, the suspect is believed to have targeted passersby at random, and police are investigating the attack as a suspected case of murder.

Prefectural police say that when they arrived at the scene, a bleeding man was found on the ground next to some shrubbery. Because two kitchen knives with bloodstains on them were found nearby, police suspected he had been involved in the attack and took him into custody. The man also had two more kitchen knives in his possession when he was found. He appeared to have stabbed himself in the neck and was confirmed dead at the hospital to which he was transported. While the man is thought to be a 51-year-old resident of Kawasaki's Asao Ward, police are rushing to confirm his identity and motive for the attack.

The site of the attack is close to Noborito Station on the Odakyu Line. Students from Caritas Elementary School, located approximately 1.5 kilometers northwest of the train station, were apparently waiting for the school bus when they fell victim to the slasher, according to prefectural police. "A man with a kitchen knife in each hand came toward the school bus from the west, and suddenly started stabbing children lining up to get on the bus," said the driver of the school bus who had come to pick up the students. When he shouted at the man, "What are you doing?" the man is said to have stabbed himself in the neck.

Bloodstains were left near a convenience store to the west of the bus stop, and the thirtysomething man who died and the woman in her 40s who was seriously injured are believed to have been attacked in this area.

According to the Kawasaki City Fire Department, those who were injured were transported to St. Marianna University School of Medicine hospital, Kawasaki Municipal Tama Hospital, Shin-Yurigaoka General Hospital and Nippon Medical School Musashi Kosugi Hospital, where they are undergoing treatment. Musashi Kosugi Hospital, where the two victims who died had been taken, said they had sustained deep cuts to their necks.

According to witness reports, there were multiple people lying on the ground for a distance of at least 50 meters on the sidewalk. A girl believed to be an elementary school student lay on the ground by a school bus parked near the bus stop, and to her west lay two adults. At least one victim was receiving CPR, and blood seeped through their clothing around their abdomen.

Caritas Elementary School was established by school operator Caritas Gakuen in 1963, according to the Kanagawa Prefectural Government section for the promotion of private schools. It places priority on Catholic education, and also has affiliated junior and senior high schools as well as kindergarten. In the 2018 academic year, the elementary school had 647 students (63 boys and 584 girls). A school bus is operated to and from the school and Noborito Station of the Odakyu and JR train lines.

(Japanese original by Nao Ikeda and Ai Kunimoto, Yokohama Bureau)

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