• Kyodo

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A 21-year-old Akita Police Station officer was found dead in his car Monday with a gunshot wound to the head and a suicide note by his side.

Wataru Komatsu, a member of the station’s local community department, apparently shot himself with his service revolver while parked inside the Akita police dormitory compound for singles, officials said.

Akita Police Station officials said Komatsu was in uniform when he was found in the fully reclined driver’s seat. The note says, “To Father and Mother, I am sorry.”

After completing his daily duties, Komatsu left the police station at around 5:15 p.m. in his private car to start duty at a local police box. He was carrying his handgun, the officials said.

Komatsu’s supervisor at the police box notified the station at around 10 p.m. that Komatsu had not turned up for work and suggested looking for him, the officials said.

Komatsu joined the Akita force in April 2001. His coworkers described him as diligent and said he betrayed no signs that he had any problems.

Shinji Sasaki, deputy chief of the Akita Police Station, said the incident was regrettable.

“A police officer took his own life with a handgun that was supposed to protect the public,” he noted.

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