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Fatal shooting suspect in Japan shoots himself during police standoff

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Yasuhide Mizobata, a murder suspect, held his guns while he sat on scaffoldings, holed up at an apartment in a standoff after he fired at a police car and escaped, in Wakayama, central Japan, Wednesday.

TOKYO » A suspect in a rare fatal shooting in Japan ended an 18-hour standoff with police Wednesday by shooting himself in the stomach, and was taken to a hospital where he reportedly died.

Police said Yasuhide Mizobata was the main suspect in a shooting Monday at a small construction company in Wakayama in western Japan in which one employee was killed and three others were injured, one seriously. The motive for the attack is not known.

Police said Mizobata, 45, was spotted near the murder site on Tuesday night but when officers approached him, he fired four shots at their police car, shattering its windows, and escaped. No one was injured.

He holed up in an apartment early Wednesday with two handguns, beginning a standoff that received widespread media coverage in a country where gun crime is rare. Television reports showed riot police in bulletproof vests and helmets standing downstairs while police tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to surrender.

All residents of the apartment building were safely evacuated by police.

Mizobata shot himself in the stomach shortly before riot police stormed in to capture him, Wakayama police said.

He was hospitalized and died about two hours later, media reports said.

In his exchanges with a police negotiator, the suspect asked police to bring him food and beer and deliver 2 million yen ($19,400) in cash to his mother, Kyodo News reported.

A bag he left behind in the apartment contained the cash and a letter, Kyodo said. It said police also found a knife, syringes and small plastic bags, in a possible sign of drug use.

National Police Agency statistics show there have been fewer than 10 shooting deaths each year in Japan in recent years, a number that dropped to just one case in 2015.

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    • You really are a mor0n huh? One fatal shooting in Japan in all of 2015, with a population of more than 127 million people. Whereas Texas, with very little gun control, averages more than 2,000 gun fatalities per year with a population of only 27 million.

        • So what is your point? Yes there is a lot of violence and those people just haven’t shot anyone yet and would if they could! Your point is ridiculous.

      • You’re missing the point of my comment you imbecile! 92% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones irrespective of location. If you had any common sense you would realize criminals predominantly pick gun free zones as easy targets time-and-time again. But that’s too much to ask from your pea brain to comprehend.

        • Your “point” appears to be that because there was ONE firearms-related murder in Japan over the course of an entire year and Japan is strictly gun-controlled, that means any type of legally mandated firearms restrictions don’t work — even in the US.

          He didn’t miss your point he just called it for what it is: ridiculous. If you want to make arguments against gun control in the US you should avoid using countries like Japan as examples because unless there was a mass shooting there every day for the next month or so you probably still wouldn’t have a statistical leg to stand on.

      • One fatal gunshot death in 2015, and fewer than 10 deaths in each of the other recent years. Prohibiting gun ownership WORKS! Not perfectly, if 1 to 10 get killed in one year. But way better than the weak controls we have here.

        No guns => Little or NO gunshot deaths! It’s that simple.

  • Good ending.
    All shooting suspects should end their lives.
    But.. for crying out LOUD… don’t shoot yourself in the stomach, the head or between the eyes is 99% guaranteed to do the job… quickly.

    No sense in killing more people.

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