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At least 19 killed, about 20 injured in knifing near Tokyo

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Ambulance crew and police officers are seen outside a facility for the handicapped where a number of people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo.

  • KYODO NEWS VIA AP

    A police officer talks with visitors in front of a facility for the handicapped where a number of people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack Tuesday in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A police officer stands guard at the gate of Tsukui Yamayuri-en, a facility for the handicapped where a number of people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo on Tuesday. Police said they responded to a call about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday from an employee saying something horrible was happening at the facility. A man turned himself in at a police station about two hours later, police said.

  • ASSPCOATED PRESS

    Journalists gather in front of Tsukui Yamayuri-en, a facility for the handicapped where a number of people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo on Tuesday. Police said they responded to a call about 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday from an employee saying something horrible was happening at the facility. A man turned himself in at a police station about two hours later, police said.

  • KYODO NEWS VIA AP

    Ambulance crew are seen outside a facility for the handicapped where a number of people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack Tuesday in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo.

SAGAMIHARA, Japan » At least 19 people were killed and about 20 wounded in a knife attack Tuesday at a facility for the handicapped in a city just outside Tokyo in the worst mass killing in generations in Japan.

Police said they responded to a call at about 2:30 a.m. from an employee saying something horrible was happening at the facility in the city of Sagamihara, 30 miles west of Tokyo.

A man turned himself in at a police station about two hours later, police in Sagamihara said. He left the knife in his car when he entered the station. He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and trespassing.

Officials in Kanagawa prefecture, which borders Tokyo, identified the suspect as Satoshi Uematsu, and said he had worked at the facility until February. Japanese media reports said he was 26 years old.

He entered the building about 2:10 a.m. by breaking a glass window on the first floor of a residential building at the facility, Shinya Sakuma, head of prefectural health and welfare division, said at a news conference.

Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa expressed his condolences to the victims.

The Sagamihara City fire department says that 19 people were confirmed dead in the attack. The fire department said doctors at the scene confirmed the deaths.

The death toll could make this the worst mass killing in Japan in the post-World War II era.

A woman who lives across from the facility told Japanese broadcaster NHK that she saw police cars enter the facility around 3:30 a.m.

“I was told by a policeman to stay inside my house, as it could be dangerous,” she said. “Then ambulances began arriving, and blood-covered people were taken away.”

Japanese broadcaster NTV reported that Uematsu was upset because he had been fired, but that could not be independently confirmed.

The facility, called the Tsukui Yamayuri-en, is home to about 150 adult residents who have mental disabilities, Japan’s Kyodo News service said.

Television footage showed a number of ambulances parked outside, with medical and other rescue workers running in and out.

Mass killings are relatively rare in Japan, which has extremely strict gun-control laws. In 2008, seven people were killed by a man who slammed a truck into a crowd of people in central Tokyo’s Akihabara electronics district and then stabbed passers-by.

In 2001, a man killed eight children and injured 13 others in a knife attack at an elementary school in the city of Osaka. The incident shocked Japan and led to increased security at schools.

More recently, 14 were injured in 2010 by an unemployed man who stabbed and beat up passengers on two public buses outside a Japanese train station in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 25 miles northeast of Tokyo.

A man who lives near the site of the latest attack said he was shocked such an attack happened in the quiet, semi-rural area near Mount Takao, a mountain popular with hikers.

“I never imagined such a horrible thing happening,” said Chikara Inabayashi, who was tending his watermelon patch. “I was astonished, that’s the only thing I can say.”

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    • Not “what is this world coming to”. It’s how this world has always been. It’s just now we have 24/7 media available to the masses so the PERCEPTION of violence has changed. In reality violence has ALWAYS been there, it just wasn’t broadcast to the whole world minutes after it happened.

      • Agree with Marcus. Mass killings are way up. If anything, media may be at least partially responsible for the rise. Explosives, gas, guns, airplanes, trucks, knives — if there’s a will, there’s a way. The bottom line is the will. Why? What motivates the killers? The common denominator seems to be media attention. For whatever reason, they’re trying to make a statement on the biggest possible stage. And right now, killing a lot of innocent people in a single attack seems to draw the spotlight. The upside of these tragedies is that experts are (or should be) collecting a lot of metadata on these killers. Hopefully, they are mashing this data to generate increasingly accurate psychological profiles that would help other professionals (and maybe even the public) flag individuals who may be prone to these acts. What are the early symptoms? How can we treat them? The metadata may also highlight social, cultural, economic, and political circumstances that create a deadly mix when combined with psychological issues. Complicated, but we have the technology and smarts to get to the roots of the problem. All that’s left is the will.

      • Really? Never read or heard anything like this 30-40 years ago. And we did have newspapers, radio and TV then. So you’re saying if it wasn’t for social media we would never hear about the news that there were mass killings in big cities?

  • This madness must stop! No doubt, this is the work of a crazed right-wing republican Buddhist! We need a total ban on knives, forks, sporks and all sharp objects!!

  • This happened in a place where gun ownership is even more restricted than it is in Hawaii. Replace guns with injury or death by knives or blunt force trauma, there is a lot of violent crime in the gun ban Utopias.

    • Complete and utter BS. The violent crime rate, especially murder, is much lower in a restricted firearm country like Japan. It’s much, much more difficult to kill this many people with a knife. No doubt that he would have been far less deadly an attacker, if the victims had not been disabled. With an AR-15 and high capacity magazines, all 39 victims would likely be dead, not half of them injured. You can’t eliminate murder completely, no matter what you regulate. HOWEVER, government & society has a moral obligation to make it as difficult as possible to commit heinous acts. Sensible gun legislation does that. Seatbelts don’t prevent all vehicle fatalities, but no logical person can argue that the enactment of seatbelt regulations has decreased the rate accidents resulting in fatalities.

      • “much lower in a restricted firearm country like Japan’

        The murder rate is much lower in Japan for cultural reasons.

        And our murder rate is much higher, in part, for cultural reasons.

        The large increase in mass shootings in the U.S. started in the mid 70’s, a time of deep cultural changes.

      • Japan’s homicide rate is associated with a stable and prosperous society with low inequality and high levels of development. Young Japanese males now commit only a tenth of the homicides committed by their predecessors in 1955. Also, in Japan you won’t find anyone playing Cop Killer gangster rap and smoking crack-cocaine in allies shouting F* the police. Guns have little to do with the homicide rates as you can easily buy shotguns and air rifles in Japan.

        • Low inequality, can you please explain what you mean by that. And can you also tell us what you mean by “high levels of development”? I also disagree that guns have little to do with homicide rates. In Japan there were 11 gun related homicides in 2011, not 11,000 or 1,100. And, I don’t think that it’s easy to buy a shotgun in Japan…

        • advertiser1, you know the old saying, the devil is in the details right? Well, Google yourself and you’ll discover that all the false hearsay people repeat always gets squashed by facts. While it’s true that it’s almost impossible to buy a HANDGUN in Japan, the media conveniently fails to state that buying a shotgun or air rifle is easy as long as you pass a criminal background and a mental health check. There is no restriction or ban on these weapons as you or the ignorant journalists claim otherwise!

        • There are far less communities with minorities in Japan. Most of our gun violence is in these communities in out large cities

      • The death toll from alcohol drunken drivers kill more victims than firearm in the United States so how cultures relate to death/killing must be considered. Agree that laws to aid in reducing death but laws in itself is not the only solution? Laws have no effect on “honor killings” in certain sects of a particular religion. Cultural mores in itself certainly cannot curb wanton killings if the individual is mentally deficient? Too many question and there is no simple solution!

      • HIE, I agree. Imagine how many more would be killed in this instance or others in Japan if they had the same gun laws as the US. In Japan you can only own shotguns for hunting or skeet shooting and not every one who applies gets a permit. The mass murderers in this Country could not slaughter students at V Tech, Sandy Hook, Colorado, etc. if we had Japan’s gun laws. A baseball bat would take out a man with a knife every time. But a baseball vs a semi auto assault rifle is a different story.

    • Wrong again, like when you believed what Trump said, that if everyone had been packing in that Orlando nightclub, there would’ve been less violence. FACT: If people took guns to places where alcohol is served, the population would decrease rapidly.

      Fortunately it’d be mostly the the thinking-challenged who’d kill themselves off. Unfortunately, they’d take down a few innocent bystanders with them. Not that gun lovers care what’s good for society and other people.

    • “A lot of violent crime?” You are showing your ignorance and obviously you have not been in, nor know anything about Japan. The country is unbelievably safe. The Japanese feel that America is gun crazy and dangerous. Their per-capita crime rate, non-violent and violent, is a fraction of that in the U.S.

    • Murder rate in the USA: 3.9 per 100,00. In Japan: 0.3 per 100,000. So the murder rate is 13 times higher in the USA. What was your point again?

      • One of the reasons of our high murder rate: In 2012, white males were 38 percent of the population and committed 4,582 murders. That same year, black males were just 6.6 percent of the population but committed a staggering 5,531 murders.

        • The percentage of whites is significantly less since the FBI and the US Census Census Bureau does its best to deliberately hide the nonwhite crime plague. The FBI has openly admitted to classifying Mexicans as whites since the 1980s! Feel free to Google it, plenty of sources to prove the bias.

        • How you allocate murders between the individual ethnic groups does not affect the overall murder rate, it affects the rate per each ethnic group.

        • advertiser1, individual ethnic groups do affect the overall murder rate. Introduce Japan to DIVERSITY, to be politically correct, with some of those nice illegal Mexicans and their anchor baby gang affiliated children and you’ll see Japan’s crime rates go through the roof!

        • You are absolutely correct dragoninwater! Now all we need to do is build that wall. (This is not a tongue in cheek comment.)

        • Sorry, simple mathematics. If there are 100 murders, and 1000 people, then the rate is 10%. If before, 50 murderers were considered white then the rate would be 50% white. If you now split 40% mexican and 10% white, the total murders/murderers remain the same at 100, or 10%.

          Your response to me is a different argument. That is, your new argument is that different ethnic groups cause MORE murders. Your old one was related to classification of existing.

        • The “Ginsu” does not replace the AR-15. The Ginsu’s primary purpose isn’t to kill people at mass scale. That is exactly what the AR-15’s primary purpose is. A semi-automatic rifle like the AR-15 is not for hunting animals for food. It’s not for wounding people. It’s not for entertainment. It was designed to be a very efficient weapon for killing human beings at a high rate. The Ginsu was designed for preparing foods.

  • How sad. May those poor victims rest in peace. I hope that the injured and others at the facility get good counseling so that they won’t have to go through life suffering from this traumatic experience.

  • Obama and Hilary will scream about more gun control despite this being a knife attack. They’ll make up the excuse that the body count would have been in the hundreds at the hospital if the killer would have had an assault gun. More propaganda from the dyslexic Democrats whom sold their souls to Santa, news at 11!!!

      • The way I see it if Trump got his way everyone could pack a weapon. If these patrons were in that Orlando nightclub innocent people would be shot because everyone would be pulling out a gun so who’s the good guys and whose the bad guys. Then the police would come in and shoot everyone that’s holding a weapon. 5,000 dead 100 injured. Trump would comment “everyone makes a mistake sometime let’s move on”.

    • Something the US has severely neglected! Psycho nut jobs like Charles Manson live a nice retirement life waiting on death row from the time he was imprisoned in 1966 at a wonderful cost of $90k a year on taxpayers dime.

      BTW, Charles Manson just recently was allowed to marry a 26 year old woman and impregnate her while in prison and doesn’t have to pay for child support. Talk about a good life with visitation rights combined with state funded conjugal visits! Voters in the US have no spine and got what they voted for in the one party Democrat run states like California and Hawaii.

      • There were Republicans in office when Manson is in jail so how come they didn’t change the law and have him killed? Please don’t blame the Democrats they didn’t make every law. I noticed that Republicans can’t be accountable for anything like their master. Examples of what I’m trying to teach my children what not to do, what about you?

  • Capital punishment here and abroad is the best solution–get rid of the criminals that do these terrible crimes–don’t keep filling prisons with rubbish–society has to keep paying for these people over many years–then the get paroled and do the same thing all over again. Dispose of the Trash — and place fear death in the minds of people considering such crimes. And if they do the crime–get rid of them–free society and the world of these monsters.

  • Criminals might be crazy but they are not stupid. Take away firearms and the targeted victims change along with the methodology. To kill as many as possible with a knife the targets would be children, disabled, and the aged in no particular order but at an opportunistic time and place in a crowded confined area of choice. If the weapon were a vehicle, a bomb, or poison gas,…….Being able to identify the perps is the real issue.

      • Then make them change the methodology. But, what you guys are saying still doesn’t discount the fact that firearms kill tens of thousands each year in the US.

        • But what you are saying still doesn’t discount the fact that alcohol and automobiles have killed more than all wars put together. Do you drink? Do you drive? Have you killed anyone lately adv1?

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