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Osaka police officer stabbing suspect says 'illness' caused attack: investigators

Stabbing suspect Yujiro Iimori is seen being taken into the Osaka Prefectural Police's Suita Station on the morning of June 17, 2019, in this frame grab from Mainichi Broadcasting System TV.

SUITA, Osaka -- A 33-year-old man arrested June 17 on suspicion of stabbing a local police officer and stealing his handgun the previous day has told investigators his "illness" is responsible for the attack.

"It wasn't me that did it. It was because my illness got worse," Yujiro Iimori was quoted as telling the Osaka Prefectural Police. He apparently had a mental disability certificate when he was taken into custody at about 6:30 a.m. in the neighboring city of Minoo, along with a handgun and around 100,000 yen in cash.

Iimori is suspected of stabbing patrol officer Suzunosuke Kose, 26, at least seven times at a parking lot of the Senriyama police box in the city of Suita, Osaka Prefecture, in western Japan early on the morning of June 16. Kose was taken to hospital, where he was last reported to be unconscious and in critical condition.

Kose's sidearm was loaded with five bullets in it when it was stolen, and there were four in the pistol recovered at the time of Iimori's arrest. According to police, residents of an area near the Senriyama police box have reported hearing a loud noise about 30 minutes after the stabbing, and it is possible Iimori fired one round from the stolen weapon.

Investigators are probing possible motives for the attack.

(Japanese original by Haruka Ito and Akihiko Tsuchida, Osaka City News Department)

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