Akihabara: Seven Dead, Eleven Injured

TOKYO – A 25-year-old man "tired" of life went on a killing rampage in a busy shopping area in central Tokyo on Sunday, plowing his truck into a crowd of pedestrians before stabbing passers-by with a survival knife. Seven people died and 11 others were injured in the attack.

The attack took place shortly after noon on a main thoroughfare that had been closed off to vehicles for the day in Akihabara, the main district for electronic goods in Tokyo and a magnet for fans of Japanese anime and manga comics. The location, as well as the number of fatalities, stunned a country that has long enjoyed low crime rates but has recently experienced random stabbings in less-high-profile areas.

The police identified the attacker as Tomohiro Kato, who was living by himself in a small apartment in Shizuoka, a prefecture just west of Tokyo.

According to the Japanese media, Mr. Kato told the police that he had grown "tired" of life, "hated the world" and had gone to Akihabara to kill people.

"Anyone was O.K.," he told the police, according to the Japanese media.

Japanese television showed the police holding on the ground Mr. Kato, dressed in a black T-shirt, off-white trousers and jacket, and wearing sneakers, about five minutes after the attack started.

Around 12:30 p.m., the suspect drove a white, two-ton rental truck into an intersection of the vehicle-free thoroughfare, making zigzags and hitting several people, the police said. The man then got out of his car and, yelling in a loud voice, began randomly stabbing passers-by, including a police officer, with a survival knife.

Japanese television, displaying video that witnesses had captured on cellphones, showed bodies scattered in the area just after the attack. The authorities could be seen trying to revive several victims.

Six men and one woman, ranging in age from 19 years old to 74 years old, died from their injuries, the authorities said.

From The New York Times


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