TOKYO: Knife-wielding man stabs 16 elementary school pupils and two adults at bus stop in Kawasaki, near Tokyo; 1 girl, 1 man dead.
The 16 children are pupils of Caritas elementary school, a private Catholic school in the city. The suspect, a man in his 50s, was holding knives in both hands and stabbed the victims before stabbing himself in the neck, the police said. The suspect died after being taken to a hospital.
The incident occurred at around 7.40am (5.40am in Thailand) on a street near a park in a residential area, about 250 meters from Noborito station on the East Japan Railway Co and Odakyu Electric Railway Co lines.
According to eyewitnesses, the suspect slowly approached the children and was shouting “I’m gonna kill you” during the rampage. He had close-cropped hair and was wearing glasses.
The police retrieved two knives believed to have been used in the attack at the scene and are trying to identify the suspect.
Of the victims, a 12-year-old girl and a 39-year-old man, believed to be the father of one of the pupils, died with deep stab wounds to their necks despite emergency treatment at a hospital, hospital officials said.
In addition, two girls and a woman in her 40s sustained serious injuries, the police said.
Caritas school officials said they will hold a press conference from 6pm after convening an emergency meeting of their pupils’ parents in the afternoon.
The school operator was founded by Soeurs de la Charite de Quebec, an organization of Catholic nuns in Quebec City in Canada, according to the school’s website.
Pools of blood were left at the scene, cordoned off by investigators.
“I heard a man and a woman screaming,” said a 50-year-old woman who lives in the neighbourhood. “I rushed out of my house and saw many ambulances.”
Knives are among the most commonly used weapons in random attacks in Japan, where tight gun controls are in place.