SUITA, Osaka -- A 33-year-old man who allegedly stabbed a local police officer and stole his handgun, called the police shortly before the incident on June 16 and pretended to be a classmate of the suspect from junior high school, sources close to the case told the Mainichi Shimbun.
According to the sources, Yujiro Iimori, arrested June 17 on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery, had invited his old classmate to go for a drink and the acquaintance initially agreed to meet up. But upon discovering Iimori had made suspicious contact with other peers, the man abruptly decided not to show up without notifying the suspect.
Iimori then lurked outside the home of his former classmate's parents before and after the stabbing. The sources assume he had formed resentment against his former classmate. Osaka Prefectural Police are conducting further investigations on the relationship between Iimori and his former peers, and possible connections to the case.
The 33-year-old had falsely reported to police about 10 minutes before the stabbing that a thief had stolen items from the home of his former classmate's parents while everyone was out. In response to the call, two officers rushed to the scene from Senriyama police box in the city of Suita, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan.
Iimori allegedly stabbed officer Suzunosuke Kose, 26, who left the police box on his own to catch up with the two officers, around 5:40 a.m. at the police box parking lot. Kose's handgun was loaded with five bullets at the time it was stolen.
The suspect, who currently lives in Tokyo, had been living in Suita until graduating from high school. He had been staying at a hotel near the scene from June 14. "I'm in Osaka now," he had posted on his Facebook account.
According to Iimori's acquaintances, he had contacted several old classmates through Facebook, asking for their address so he could send out New Year cards. But many of Iimori's former classmates felt his request was suspicious and did not reply.
(Japanese original by Haruka Ito, Akihiko Tsuchida and Kumiko Yasumoto, Osaka City News Department)