MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. – A gangster who turned himself in to Tokyo police last week was arrested Saturday in connection with four recent shooting deaths at a bar in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture.
The man was identified as Haruo Doi, 43, a senior member of a gangster group affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai, one of the largest crime syndicates in Japan.
Doi turned himself in to the Metropolitan Police Department on Jan. 29, saying he fired shots in the bar on the night of Jan. 25. A former gangster and three people with no apparent links to the underworld were killed in the attack.
Doi did not hand over a weapon to local police in Maebashi, but he directed them to a stretch of a river where they found two automatic weapons and a dark jumper.
The arrest warrant served Saturday on Doi was not for his suspected role in the killings, but for allegations that he possessed three guns and 26 bullets used in the crime on Jan. 25.
The police are still investigating the case, citing ambiguity and contradictions in Doi’s confession.
Investigators plan to question Doi further on the details and try to identify the other gunman involved. Doi has so far refused to talk about the other assailant.
Police also searched several gangsters’ offices the same day in connection with the case.
According to the police, at least three automatic weapons were used by two assailants in the shooting, which took place around 11:25 p.m.
Three of the victims were killed inside the bar and the other was killed in front of the building. Kunio Goto, 55, is believed to have been the main target. He is a former head of a gangster group affiliated with the Inagawa-kai, another major underground group.
The assailants entered the bar and started shooting indiscriminately, killing Fukuji Mizuishi, 53, Hatsuko Satori, 66, and Teruji Okawara, 50.
Ryoichi Seya, a 31-year-old former gangster working for Goto, was shot dead outside the bar. Goto and a 55-year-old cook sustained serious injuries, the police said.
The death of the three people with no links to the underworld has shocked the country.
The National Police Agency on Saturday ordered police nationwide to crack down on crime groups affiliated with Sumiyoshi-kai, with a focus on seizing illegal handguns.
The NPA instructed local police units to use “all legal means available” against such gangs, the officials said.
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