The son of a city assembly chief in central Japan was arrested Friday on suspicion of killing two policemen in a stabbing and shooting attack that left a total of four people dead, according to local police.
The police identified the suspect as Masanori Aoki, 31, the eldest son of Masamichi Aoki, speaker of the city assembly in Nakano, Nagano Prefecture.
He was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting the police officers on Thursday before barricading himself in his city official father's house. He was taken into custody at around 4:37 a.m. on Friday.
The motive for the rampage and other details remain unknown.
Police initially received an emergency call at around 4:25 p.m. Thursday about a man who had stabbed a woman in the city, which lies to the northeast of the prefectural capital of Nagano.
An eyewitness working in a field at about 4 p.m. said he first spotted the attacker chasing a woman who was shouting for help.
The suspect, wearing camouflage clothing, a hat, sunglasses and a mask, grabbed the woman by the arm before stabbing her in the back with a blade that appeared to be around 30 centimeters long. He stabbed her again in the chest while she lay facing upward, according to the eyewitness.
"I killed her because I wanted to," the suspect was quoted as saying when the eyewitness asked why he had done such a thing.
As the man left on foot, the 72-year-old local rushed to his home about 150 meters away, called the police and took the officers to a parking area where the stabbing took place.
The attacker reemerged as the police car was parking and immediately fired into the driver's side. The witness ran away. He said he heard more gunshots but was too afraid to look back.
The suspect then entered the house of the assembly speaker, the police said.
The woman who was stabbed and later pronounced dead was identified as Yukie Murakami, 66, while another woman who had been found injured nearby and later confirmed dead was named as Yasuko Takeuchi, 70.
The two officers were identified as Yoshiki Tamai, 46, and Takuo Ikeuchi, 61. Another woman was also found injured and confirmed dead later.
Through the early hours of the morning, two other women, including the suspect's mother, escaped the house and the 57-year-old assembly chief was confirmed safe.
Residents within a 300-meter radius of the crime scene evacuated to a local junior high school, and all returned to their homes by Friday morning.
The scene of the incident is about 2 kilometers west of Shinshunakano Station on the Nagano Electric Railway.
The last time multiple police officers were killed in an incident in Japan dates back to 1990 in Okinawa Prefecture when two officers patrolling amid a gang war were targeted after being mistaken for gangsters, according to police sources.
Gun ownership is strictly controlled in Japan. Local police on Friday said the suspect had a license for four firearms, including rifles and air guns.
Neighbors described the suspect as "quiet," and said he did not leave the house often. He is believed to have been involved in operating a farm that supplied fruit to a gelato store his father had opened.© KYODO
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May it be the last thing we hear from you, Mr. Aoki.
I stand corrected: the murder weapon was in fact a hunting rifle, and not a shotgun. Shots were fired at around 19:00 and 20:00 and did not sound like 'sandanjuu'...
Wow, screwed up way of showing that you dont want to follow in dads footsteps! There is something wrong in the family, and I am sure the talking head variety shows will be sharing intimate details for the next month or two!
Rest in Peace to the four innocent people. Families destroyed forever in the space of minutes.
Unless this cowardly piece of scum can prove he did not know what he was doing through insanity, he needs to go to the gallows. Paying to keep him alive is a total money waste, and will not be looked upon favourably by the public.
“ I am sure the talking head variety shows will be sharing intimate details for the next month or two!”
It won’t last that long. People’s interest and curiosity will rapidly wane in a week or two. We all have a very short memory.
Well its the rope for him unless his father pulls some strings. (no pun intended)
On a side note, how the hell did he get a hunting rifle? Those things are like gold bars over here.
Surreal news to wake up to. Very rare occurrence, and boy what nasty piece of work this killer is: vicious and cold blooded. That will get him the gallows if he's not declared insane.
Sad story, thank you to law enforecment officers for your sacrifices. May the families of the victims
I echo what @eye wrote.
Random acts of wack occur everywhere, but I feel so much safer in japan with its strict gun laws.
I can't wait to hear the apologies the assemblyman will be making, even though he wasn't involved. Sad that the entire family suffers for one's stupidity. They should be in mourning, more than anything.
Is there any particular reason why the police didn't just shoot the perpatrator?
Good job NPA.
He was dressed the part, well-armed and took measures to escape detainment. Seems pretty sane to me. Just murderous.
True, but not impossible. There are about 200,000 hunting license holders in Japan, I believe. Perhaps he was one of them. Of course, that doesn't mean they have firearm licenses or use rifles. Many have shotguns.
Innocent until proven guilty and the right to a (fair) trial?
I hope he likes kneeling in a little yellow square painted on a concrete floor in a room that's 10°C for hours every day over the decade ahead, before he stands on the last square he ever stands on.
While rare in Japan, an unbearable tragedy for families. For the families of victims and for the family of the mentally ill perpetrator.
Because there were people in the line of fire????? And because he has rights?
Can we spare a thought of the absolute anguish and heartbreak his mother, and possibly his father, are going through right now? As a father to three boys here, my oldest being 22, I would be absolutely heartbroken that my boy did something like this. Not just for him, but for the victims and their families.
Safe to say, this guy has sealed his fate. RIP to all those who had their lives taken.
BofingtonToday 08:26 am JST
Sounds like you're ridiculing his family as though they're going to make excuses for him.
When people start feeling sorry for that Abe assassin, they just enabled a whole bunch of others to act with a sense of impunity, let's be honest.
You don't hear about this sort of incident very often in Japan.
Sad tragic. The father will resign from his position.
Multiple murders including multiple gun murders, of cops no less, in an apparent ambush.
Yep, this guy gets the noose for sure. And it is nothing less than he deserves.
There are questionable uses of capital punishment. And then there's this guy.
He deserves it. He is going to get it.
Terrible. What caused him to snap?
Straight to the hangman's noose for this mutt!
Aren't gun laws very strict in Japan, one of the strictest in the world? How can this happen?
I wouldn't say strict. But the process is cumbersome and expensive; designed to weed out people who are not serious or who want a gun on a whim.
I own two hunting guns here.
The "psychological check" was a joke. I was in and out in under five minutes.
Thank you for your service police. Those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Condolence to those who lost their love ones in this pointless killing.
The son of a city legislator??
The prosecutors office will be more than happy to take this case and set an example for the rest who may be thinking about a copycat or being above the law.
This "motive" appears to be happening more and more. Despite the relative safety of Japan compared to some other countries, the increase in the number of random murders/attempted murders by strangers who just wanted to kill somebody/anybody is kinda scary.
Any shooting in Japan is a rare event. Unlike my home country of America where fatal mass shootings are almost a weekly occurrence now. So all those commenting on how unsafe Japan is - just stop.
Secondly, for those asking why the police didn't just shoot back, hard to say but according to the article, the guy was shooting with a high powered hunting rifle from inside a house. He had the advantage of range and cover. Also, he started shooting first indicating that the cops were probably out in the open or still sitting in their patrol car and we're probably hit before they new what was happening.
To my knowledge Japanese Police do not carry long rifles in their vehicles as many in the US do.
I won't comment on the shooter's mental capacity at the time because, 1. I'm no psychologist and 2. I don't care. He took 4 lives, therefore he deserves to die.
The family are disgraced and Masamichi Aoki will resign and live with the shame of the action of his killer son.
Terrible news, innocent people died for nothing. I can believe someone can shoot at police officers. They go to work and their families waiting for them to come back home. I hope they kill the sick psycho.
Maybe in the coming weeks and months the motive will surface.
The two policeman, the two women brutality murdered families deserve justice, motive, for such loss.
If judicial process determines Masamichi Aoki eldest son mentally culpable, the sentence must reflect the gravity of such a despicable crime.
Deepest sympathy to the victims, and to the nation.
Fortunately this sort of outrage is rare in Japan.
What is 'rare' in Japan?
Masamichi Aoki will be disowned by the rest of his family to protect themselves.
Disowned is what happens here when a family member commits a serious crime. You get to carry the sins of your children.
There seems to be more murders in Japan than some other countries now. Political assasinations, random stabbings, neighbors turning againstbother for noise complaints. Family grievances.
Extremely sad to see as it had been relatively peaceful the last few decades post WW2.
Send him to Gallows ASAP!!...
I don’t know about that given a lot of crazy people if you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time, stay vigilant…always no matter where you live.
What makes you think he "snapped". He is obviously a psychopath, who has most likely suffered from psychotic mental illness for quite some time. He may have been killing and/or torturing animals until now, and simply advanced to the next phase - humans, which is fairly standard behavior for psychopaths.
It must be a life sentence or death penalty.
The last time two police officers in Japan were killed in one incident dates back to 1990 in Okinawa. That's pretty impressive.
The perpetrator is obviously not of sound mind, but he gallows chorus are making their usual noises despite the well-established observations that intra-species killing is clearly an innate characteristic of the higher primates (chimps and their nearest kin, humans). Executions will never be able to straighten the crooked timber of humanity or change what comes naturally to homo sapiens. An ignoble thirst for revenge and the exercise of power by big gov'mint is the only justification for the taking of another human life and expanding the number of victims. The best that can be achieved is to help the brainsick among us with better mental health care.
I killed her because i wanted to
I do not remember
I made an mistake in acceleration or break pedal
The above are commonly used.
What is happening with the society?
Actually stats show crime has been going down as mentioned countless times here. This year there is a slight uptick due to covid "ending", of course.
The serious nature of these killings, fatalities, are bound to recoil on his family.
The full media glare will dig deep, every nook and cranny of his upbringing.
His family will suffer, as society, the families of the deceased demand answers.
The alleged killer has left victims dead or alive.
""Local police on Friday said the suspect had a license for four firearms, including rifles and air guns.""
It is almost impossible for the average The Japanese to get a firearm license, the Q? we all have how the hell did this 31 years old get 4 of them? and did his father aid or had anything to do with it?
He killed the two police officers through their patrol car side window, but apparently they were not wearing bullet-proof vests. They were probably expecting a knife as the phone call had indicated but the perp had meantime been back into his house.
(Might not have helped though.)
Since he had both a shotgun and a hunting rifle license, I guess they decided to sit out the siege.
The news has been showing the murderer's high school photo. And, you can see in his eyes and face that he was already a psycho back then.
Its a shame this piece of scumbag made it to the jail cell and now people's taxes will go towards keeping him alive.
That said, the amount of Western leftists on these Japanese news sites is sickening. Apparently, the only way you can get up-voted here is by blaming the gun and condemning all gun owners. Oh well, as a hunter in Japan, I welcome the down-votes. Lmao.
Well, he's had his little moment of glory. I hope it was worth it.
Eric, Japan still has the death penalty, so he probably won't make it to old age on our taxes.
By the way, it's no good looking for plus votes here on JT. Treasure them when you get one, and give them out generously!
There are some people here who hand out minus points just to make themselves feel better each morning, like random tire slashers (or worse), probably showing that they don't approve of society in general. I didn't see any particularly anti-gun posts above though.
The death penalty is never an answer.
Well, Wallace, the existence of the death penalty certainly didn't stop his hand this time around.
It is a well-published fact that the death penalty does not prevent murder. Some have done their Ph.D. on the subject.
Isn't it great that Japan allows people to have guns, at the same time as keeping gun violence to extremely low levels through regulations and restrictions?
(I'm aware of the obvious counter argument that is the topic of this article, but this is an extremely rare event in Japan.)
Handguns are very difficult in Japan for civilian use. Only 777.
"Oh well, as a hunter in Japan, I welcome the down-votes. Lmao."
You are not a hunter in Japan.
Psychopathy seem to get worse in Japan
believe me or not, its because there’s very little for Christianity out there. The core of society lives with spiritual hunger (and everything that it draws as consequence) culture and tradition cant save from evil
What ol' Jack Burton always says
Oh thankyou for confirming your announcement that crime is going down with an uptick in rising crime make absolutely no sense at all.
well well well Japan seems to becoming more like the USA day by day