A 40-year-old unemployed man beat another man to death with an iron bar Tuesday morning on a street outside a school in Adachi Ward, Tokyo, as students were arriving for classes, police said.

The man was arrested near the school on suspicion of murdering Kazuo Tanaka, 44, according to police.

The suspect spoke of hearing “a voice from heaven,” among other “unusual things,” leading police to question his mental health and criminal liability, police officials said.

The victim was killed at around 8:35 a.m. in front of Hanaho Junior High School, according to police.

When officers arrived, they found the suspect holding an iron bar about 1.5 meters long and 1 cm in diameter. They arrested him after he admitted striking the victim “dozens of times.”

The suspect lives in the same district as Tanaka but has told police he did not know the victim, police said.

The slaying took place about 2.5 km east of Takenotsuka Station on Tobu Railway Co.’s Isesaki Line.

The incident occurred as students were arriving at school, providing police with a host of witnesses. Tuesday was the first day of classes for first-year junior high school students, and some were so traumatized they could not attend their enrollment ceremony, police said.

According to local residents, a suspicious-looking man carrying an iron bar had been seen many times in the area.

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