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Osaka police stabbing suspect reportedly changed clothes repeatedly to avoid pursuit

Suspect Yujiro Iimori is seen carrying a backpack while wearing a short-sleeved shirt in Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, at around 9:40 a.m. on June 16, 2019, in this image provided by a local resident.

SUITA, Osaka -- Yujiro Iimori, 33, who is under arrest on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery for allegedly stabbing a local police officer and stealing his handgun, is under investigation by Osaka Prefectural Police for reportedly changing his clothes repeatedly during what is believed to be an attempt to avoid pursuit.

Reports say Iimori bought clothes to disguise his appearance during his alleged escape and removed his glasses and wore a helmet. He is also said to have been seen throwing his blood-stained shoes into a trash can.

Iimori was arrested on suspicion of stabbing police officer Suzunosuke Kose, 26, with a knife in the parking lot of Senriyama police box in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, at around 5:40 a.m. on June 16. The suspect is then said to have stolen Kose's pistol, which contained five bullets.

In the moments preceding the incident, security cameras installed in the police box's vicinity showed Iimori wearing a dark blue jumper, black shoes, glasses and a white hat. Around 10 minutes after the attack, he was caught on camera in a residential area some 500 meters northwest of the police box walking while carrying an item that appears to be a handgun. His clothing was the same as it had been in the footage captured outside the police box.

However, at around 9:05 a.m. on the same day, the suspect is said to have bought items including a deep red jumper, navy blue sneakers, a light blue colored hat and black pants for around 9,000 yen at a shopping area some 4.5 kilometers north of the Senriyama police box. A security camera at a convenience store in Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, caught the suspect disposing of an item in a trash can outside the shop at around 9:40 a.m. A pair of black, blood-stained shoes was later found inside.

Following these actions, security cameras picked up images of Iimori appearing to have changed into his newly purchased clothes, with footage showing him walking out on the street wearing a deep red jumper and navy blue sneakers. He was later caught on camera entering another convenience store minus the sweater, this time sporting a short-sleeved shirt and a helmet. Police suspect Iimori of repeatedly attempting to disguise himself.

When Iimori was arrested by police in Minoh in the early morning of June 17, he was said to have been found lying on a bench with a navy blue jacket donned over his deep red jumper, with matching deep red trousers. He wasn't wearing glasses. Police said another pair of black pants he appeared to have bought mid-escape were also found in his backpack.

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

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