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Resident hosed burning suspect in fatal Kyoto animation studio attack with water

The Kyoto Animation building is seen on fire in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward on July 18, 2019. (Mainichi/Naohiro Yamada)

KYOTO -- A local resident hosed down the burning suspect in a July 18 arson attack at an animation studio in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward that left over 20 people dead or feared dead, according to accounts from the time of his apprehension.

The woman told the Mainichi Shimbun the doorbell of her home rang, and when she opened the door, she saw the man lying on his back at the side of the road with his knees bent. He was barefoot and covered in blood, and the skin of both of his arms was peeling from burns. His hair was also singed. He was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, but his clothes were burning, so the woman sprayed water on him with a hose.

Police in the western Japan city soon arrived on the scene and asked him questions, including, "Why did you go and do something like this?" and "Where did you enter the building from?" The man reportedly told police, "I spread gasoline about and started the fire with a lighter." He apparently also made comments indicating that he held some kind of grudge.

"He had a pale green face which looked awful. I wondered why such a thing had happened. It was frightening," the female resident said.

(Japanese original by Minami Yoko, Kyoto Bureau)

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