• Kyodo


A 25-year-old man was served a fresh arrest warrant Thursday on suspicion of murder in a stabbing spree Wednesday in which one woman was killed and five others, including the man’s parents, were wounded in Sashiki, Okinawa Prefecture, police said.

Police arrested the man at the scene Wednesday evening on suspicion of carrying out the stabbing spree using a kitchen knife and a sickle.

A police investigation determined that the suspect first stabbed his parents, who run a tofu shop, at their home, and later launched a random attack in the streets in the southern Okinawa town, killing Haru Shiroma, 68, and injuring three other people, including two children.

Shiroma was stabbed several times near a bus stop and pronounced dead an hour after being rushed to a nearby hospital.

According to the police, the rampage began around 7 p.m. inside the shop operated by the suspect’s 66-year-old father.

Police said the suspect, who appeared incoherent when subdued by officers, ran outside the shop after stabbing his parents and attacked Tsutomu Shiroma, 49, from behind with a sickle before killing Haru Shiroma and injuring two children — Yoshiaki Karita, 11, and Atsuki Uehara, 5. It was unknown whether the two Shiromas are related.

The identities of the suspect and his family are being withheld because he appears to be suffering from mental illness.

The suspect told police at the time of his arrest that he was “exorcising devils.”

During questioning Thursday, the man told investigators he “was a king,” threatening to “kill all of you,” and exhibiting other strange behavior, according to police sources.

The man, who remained silent and kept his head lowered when asked his name and birth date, raised his head and began speaking when asked if he had killed anyone. He also kept hugging his questioners, the sources said, adding that after a few hours of such behavior, questioning was terminated for the afternoon.

Police said the suspect was half naked when he was subdued on a farm road.

The police said the sickle used in the stabbing rampage was later found near the crime scene.

Neighbors said the suspect’s family moved to Sashiki from Naha, about 15 km away, three years ago.

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