Japan police search home of stabbing attacker

  • ASEAN+
  • Thursday, 30 May 2019

Heartbreaking: People paying their respects next to flower tributes at the crime scene in Kawasaki. — AFP

Tokyo: Japanese police searched the home of the man behind a stabbing rampage in the town of Kawasaki a day earlier that killed two people, including a child.

The 51-year-old attacker, identified by police as Ryuichi Iwasaki, died after stabbing himself during the rampage, and his motives for the horrifying assault remain unclear.

Yesterday morning, police searched his home, not far from the scene of the morning attack, seizing unspecified material, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Local media said Iwasaki was living with relatives in their 80s, but gave no further details. His occupation was unknown.

Police had no comment on the investigation and declined to offer any further details about the attacker.

The rampage in the town south of Tokyo on Tuesday morning killed two people – 11-year-old schoolgirl Hanako Kuribayashi and a 39-year-old parent, identified as government official Satoshi Oyama, a Myanmar specialist.

Seventeen more people, mainly young children, were injured, according to authorities.

Iwasaki crept silently up behind pupils of the Caritas Gakuen (school) as they waited for their school bus and began slashing randomly at them armed with knives in both hands, before fatally stabbing himself in the neck.

Local media citing police sources said yesterday that the attack took less than 20 seconds to unfold and that two additional knives were discovered inside the attacker’s backpack, which he had left at a nearby convenience store.

But there were few other details about the attacker and his motive for the assault, with neighbours telling local media that they knew little about the man.

In the wake of the attack, Japan’s government said it would review measures to ensure the safety of children travelling to and from school.

Yesterday morning, people were still arriving at the scene of the attack to lay flowers and other tributes to those killed.

Mourners in Japan sometimes bring drinks or food that the deceased enjoyed to their gravesites, and bottles of soda and juice could be seen at the scene of the attack. — AFP

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