Stabbing rampage in Akihabara [Tokyo]: 7 people killed
All our updates about this story so far:
- Stabbing rampage in Akihabara [Tokyo]: 7 people killed
- Tomohiro Kato – Akihabara Killer
- Bloggers respond to the Akihabara killings
- FTV focuses on Akihabara killer’s love of anime
- ‘Wanted’ video targets Akihabara idiots
Horrible news out of Akihabara, where a man went on a rampage with a survival knife, injuring and killing at random:
A man went on a stabbing spree on Sunday in central Tokyo, injuring at least 14 people with about five of them left unconscious, a fire department official said.
The man was subdued after stabbing bystanders near the bustling train station of Akihabara, an area known for electronics stores and is a haven for fans of video-games and comic-book culture.
At least 14 people including a police officer were injured, the fire department official said.
“About five of them are unconscious,” he said.
The man was driving a truck that swerved into pedestrians before he got out and began stabbing people at random, according to media reports.
Reuters erroneously reported that the attacker was “identified as a 25-year-old member of one of Japan’s yakuza crime syndicates.” Japanese media reports originally only said the man claimed to be a gangster. They now report he has admitted the gangster claim was not true.
A few photos of ambulances and the aftermath of the attack can be viewed at Iza.ne.jp.
Akihabara is usually very crowded on Sundays, with its main roads closed to cars so that pedestrians can enjoy shopping.
Update: These photos, allegedly showing police arresting the attacker, have been showing up all over 2ch.net:
Update 2: The death toll has reached 3.
Update 3: It is now being announced that 6 people have died.
The suspect, Tomohiro Kato, has told police that he drove a rental truck all the way from Shizuoka for the purpose of killing random people in Akihabara.
The assailant, who later told police he was “tired of living,” swerved a truck into a crowd of pedestrians shortly after noon in Tokyo’s bustling Akihabara area before jumping out screaming and stabbing strangers.
The assailant was identified as Tomohiro Kato, 25. He first said he was a gangster before retracting his story.
“I came to Akihabara to kill people. It didn’t matter whom I’d kill,” he was quoted by Jiji Press as telling police.
By the time Kato dropped his knife at the gunpoint of a police officer, 17 people lay bloodied on the street of the crowded district, according to fire department and police officials.
Jiji Press and other Japanese media said that six people were dead — five men aged 19, 20, 29, 47 and 74 and a 21-year-old woman — marking a rare deadly crime in a city famed for safety.
Update 4: The count now stands at 7 dead, 11 wounded.
2-channel users have been repeatedly posting screen captures of shameless idiots waving to the camera during a news broadcast:
Update 5: The killer posted some online messages announcing the attack from his mobile phone:
On Monday, investigators said that they were looking at a series of messages sent by mobile phone to a website that appeared to foretell the attack.
“I’ll crash my vehicle into people and if the vehicle becomes useless, I’ll get out a knife. Goodbye everyone!”, Japanese media reports quoted one posting early on Sunday morning as saying.
Subsequent messages appeared to chart the suspect’s journey from Shizuoka to Tokyo.
“No postponement because of rainy weather,” said a later message, Kyodo news agency reported.
Another posting, some 20 minutes before the attack, simply said: “It’s time,” Kyodo added.
Update 6: AFP’s latest article has the following quote from a kid they interviewed about the incident:
“I’m afraid he did this because he played video games. But he should have known that in life, you can’t hit the restart button.”