3 dead after attack in central Japan; suspect with gun and knife hidden in building

Three people, including two police officers, have been killed in central Japan and a suspect armed with a gun and a knife is locked in a building

ByMARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

Police officers stand guard on a street leading to a building where a man is holed up in Nakano, central Japan, Thursday, May 25, 2023. A masked man carrying a gun and a knife locked himself in a building on Thursday in Nakano, a city in Nagano Prefecture. Several people were injured, one of whom later died, police said. (Kyodo News via AP)

The Associated Press

TOKYO– Three people, including two police officers, were killed Thursday in Nagano, central Japan, and a suspect armed with a gun and a knife was locked inside a building, police said.

A witness told state broadcaster NHK that a woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot two police officers as they arrived at the scene in a patrol car in Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture.

The witness said he asked the suspect why he attacked her, and he replied that he wanted to kill her, NHK said.

All three victims were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were later pronounced dead, police said. A fourth injured person could not be rescued as they were near the suspect, Kyodo News reported.

Video on NHK showed police wearing body armor and carrying shields, with an ambulance nearby. The area is in a quiet agricultural neighborhood.

Police described the suspect as a man wearing camouflage, a hat, mask and sunglasses, Kyodo News said. Police have defined the area within 300 meters (330 yards) of the site as a no-go zone, and city officials have urged residents in the neighborhood to stay home.

No other details, including suspect and motive, were immediately known.

Violent crimes are rare in Japan. It has strict gun control laws and only a handful of gun crimes each year. But in recent years, there have been high-profile cases involving random subway stabbings and arson, and there are growing concerns about firearms and homemade explosives.

ABC News

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