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Police recruit shoots himself in head at police koban

35 Comments

A police recruit in Nagareyama, Chiba Prefecture, is in a coma after he apparently attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head at a police koban, authorities said Monday.

Police say the 19-year-old man graduated from police training academy last month and was assigned to Minami-Nagareyama Ekimae koban, where the incident took place on Sunday afternoon at around 1:15, TBS reported. Aside from the officer in question, the only other people present at the time of the incident are believed to have been a 30-year-old police sergeant and a counselor who discovered the man.

The two men testified that the officer told them he was going to the second floor to retrieve some forms. Seconds later, a gunshot was heard. The counselor went upstairs and found the man bleeding from a gunshot wound to his head, TBS reported.

Police are currently investigating the circumstances that led up to the incident.

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35 Comments
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i would like more information as it develops.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hmm...19years old, just finished police academy, whole life ahead of him... leaves a lot to the imagination. And says a lot about the training he received... or lack thereof.

RIP

S

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

more info when you get it please

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Spidey. Read thelarticle again. He's not dead, he's in a coma. Hope he makes a full recovery and gets all the help and support he needs at this difficult time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I would like more info too. Maybe he was playing with his gun? Cleaning it?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

why? What were the forms for? Was he being hazed or something? There should be a investigation.

But with that, I think it is strange that 19 is considered a minor in japan yet a 19 year old can be a police officer. How is it that a 19 year old CAN NOT (under general circumstances) be held responsible for DISOBEYING the law but a 19 year old CAN be given the responsibility to UPHOLD the law?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

So many budding Nancy Drews here searching for immediate answers. How about we give the police 5 minutes to do an investigation before you all start in with the conspiracy theories?

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Happened last year too, except the recruit did kill himself. No follow up as to the the reason ever made the news...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gurukun - All new recruits are initially assigned to a koban, and this particular place is indeed called in Japanese Minami-Nagareyama Ekimae Koban. A quick search on google map streetview shows that it is your typical station police box, two tiny rooms, one above the other.

I hope the poor lad makes a full recovery and that the young sergeant who found him gets all the help and counselling he needs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese cops with guns seem more of a danger to themselves than to criminals.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

cleo, again, thanks for the clarification.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! Haven't had one of these for a while. It seems the only time I hear about a J-cop using his gun is on himself. Maybe they should just carry mace. I've never heard of anyone ever macing themselves to death.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Having finished the police academy training just a month ago Its really head-scratching that he would shoot himself, no matter the work conditions. Even software/system engineers that work between 100-200 extra hours a month dont usually go this far till a few months have passed... although of course they don`t have guns.

As Spidey said It probably has something to do with the police trainings severeness but still...it`s quite sad.

Hope he gets well and also I hope somebody checks if the workplace was treating this newbie with all human respect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe he's been planning for awhile and joining the force was the easiest way to get a weapon. Police suicides are high in other countries, but it's usually after a number of years of seeing crime scenes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does the police not do any psychological tests before recruiting people?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well let's wait. Odd timing for a suicide, but we never know. If that was a stupid gun accident, the coworkers would probably say it's "suicide".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is why you Do Not give real guns to J-Cops.

Thank God he didn't shoot warning shots into the air and kill some innocent kid on a bike.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

H'mmm article states a counselor was in the koban at the time of the shooting.........................perhaps he was there for a reason, ..........its pretty hard to imagine this scenario happening pretty odd

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very sad and I hope he survives. I was a little shocked at the age of 19 for a police officer. I had been curious what is the requirements for law enforcement in Japan. I know in the US it is almost standard to be a college graduate in law or criminal justice plus police academy training. The age of 19 seems very young for such a physical and emotional type job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if he killed himself because of personal problems or police related problems. For him to do it at the police station seems like it could have been a statement about the police force/work. Was he being asked to do unethical things as a police and he couldn`t handle it morally? Was he being asked to rough up people? Was he being bullied as a new recruit? Or did it have nothing in the world to do with policing? I guess we will never know because if he left a note condemning the police, they would hide that. But if he talked to friends or family outside the police force then a better understanding of his reasoning might come to light, but at this point one can only speculate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought he shot himself in the koban. Ouch

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

777777 - He's not dead. He's in a coma. It's in the first sentence.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only question I have is this:

GUNSHOT. The person who goes to investigate is a.) the 30-year old police seargant? or b.) a "counselor"? If you answered "a" you are incorrect because a "counselor" is OBVIOUSLY more qualified to initially investigate a potential crime scene. If two people are present and one is a police officer, why the heck is the non-police officer checking out a gunshot?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I had been curious what is the requirements for law enforcement in Japan.

A large proportion of recruits are high school graduates; they do 10 months' training before they become fully-fledged officers. University grads do 6 months training and tend to be fast-tracked for promotion, etc.

I don't recall there being any mention of a 'counsellor' the first time I read this article; in fact I do remember Gurukun commenting on only two people being in the 'police station'. The vernacular news is saying that both the sergeant and the counsellor (相談員, a counsellor or advisor) rushed upstairs on hearing the shot.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any way of telling if the counselor/advisor is a police officer assigned to mentor the rookie? The fact that he charged up the stairs first might make more sense if that were the case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any way of telling if the counselor/advisor is a police officer assigned to mentor the rookie?

Fadamor, there is a way. I checked the word "kouban soudan in". It's not a police officer, and not a "counselor" that gives psy help. He gives advice if you've lost your way. It's how they call the part-timers that the police employ to staff the kobans, because they don't have enough policemen. They do administrative paper work, but they don't have the right to use guns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Then this doesn't really make sense. The first one up the stairs should have been the police sergeant. Period. The paper pusher should have stayed on the lower floor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The first one up the stairs should have been the police sergeant. Period.

The vernacular Sponichi, chiba nippo and Chunichi are saying they both went up the stairs when they heard the shot. Yomiuri, Mainichi, Sankei TV Asahi and @nifty news are saying it was the sergeant who found him. TBS and Jiji Tsushin says it was the sodanin. Take your pick, but there doesn't seem much point getting steamed up about something that may or may not be true. Seems likely they heard the shot and both rushed up the stairs without worrying about the protocol of who should be there first.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My point wasn't that the community guide shouldn't have gone up there first, my point was he shouldn't have gone AT ALL. It's a potential crime scene until they determine what actually happened to cause the gun to discharge. You don't have civilians tromping around up there before the investigation is complete. Basic Crime Scene Procedures 101: SECURE THE SCENE. The only way I see the civilian being able to go up there is if the sergeant was out - either making a bike round, or at the local conbini getting a donut (wait, that's American cops that do that). Whatever the reason, the sergeant was unable to tell the civilian to stay on the first floor.

Here's my guess: Sergeant is indisposed/away from koban for some reason. Civilian hears gunshot, hears thud of policeman's body hit the floor, calls up to ask "Daijoubu desuka?" Gets no response, then rushes up the stairs to check on the rookie. When sergeant returns/is no longer is indisposed, he realizes he's in hot water if it gets out that he wasn't first on the scene. Thus the confusing stories of who got there first. Pure conjecture on my part, but it seems to me even JCops know to keep civilians out of the area where a shooting occured. There's no way the sergeant got up there first and let the civilian come up behind him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pure conjecture on my part

Yes. You should write TV dramas. :-)

Bit of conjecture on my part - the 'civilian' who is 61 years old, is probably a newly-retired cop who stayed on in sodanin capacity. May even have been the sergeant's former boss, which would fit with your 'the sergeant was unable to tell the civilian to stay on the first floor'. Maybe neither saw anything amiss in their both rushing up the stairs. Crime scene it may be, but it's also an officer down and first priority would be to give aid, not 'secure the crime scene'.

Hey, if you need someone to help with that screenplay, I'm game... :-D

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I hope they had CCTV cameras to record the incident.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have no idea about this case but I have worked with young soldiers who were happy to 'play with guns' even if outside of regulations. Strong probability it was a .38 and, as such, has no safety. Hard to construe this as an accidental discharge, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry: .38 REVOLVER. Yes, there are .38 semi-autos.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow I remember reading abut another shooting in the same manner in Japan at another koban. It seems strange for another one to happen about a year after one that resulted in the death of an officer, it is something that have to be addressed in training. It is a tragedy to the young man that had a career in front of him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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