A 24-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing a 46-year-old police officer in a koban (police box) and shooting to death a 68-year-old school security guard with the officer’s gun in Toyama City in 2018 was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Keita Shimazu, Fuji TV reported. The Toyama District Court handed down its ruling against Shimazu, a former Ground Self-Defense Forces member who quit in 2017.
Shimazu, who was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by a police officer while resisting arrest, remained silent during the two-month-long trial, neither answering when asked to state his name nor entering a plea.
Explaining why he did not sentence Shimazu to death, Presiding Judge Taihei Omura said the defendant may have been mentally incompetent at the time of the crime. After his arrest, he was diagnosed as suffering from autism spectrum disorder but a psychiatric evaluation found him mentally fit to stand trial.
According to the ruling, Shimazu fatally stabbed police officer Kenichi Inaizumi on June 26, 2018, in the police box. Inaizumi was stabbed more than 12 times in the stomach and chest. Shimazu took Inaizumi’s handgun and walked to a nearby elementary school where he shot and killed Shinichi Nakamura, a security guard.
Shimazu was then shot by police who had arrived on the scene. He had three knives on him at the time besides the one he used to stab Inaizumi. That knife was left in the koban.
Shimazu's lawyer said that he had a growing hatred of police ever since they visited his home to investigate complaints he had been abusive toward his parents.
Prior to stabbing Inaizumi, Shimazu fought with the manager of a restaurant where he worked part time. Shimazu contacted his parents on an online messaging app and said he had hit his boss and planned to quit his job. A search of his home revealed more than a dozen toy guns and books on how to commit murder.© Japan Today