• Kyodo


A former mobster has admitted shooting a U.S. serviceman here over the weekend, according to police.

Investigators said Tomoyuki Matsumoto, 37, a former ranking member of an underworld group who is now unemployed, turned himself in to police Tuesday evening.

He reportedly said he pulled the trigger because the serviceman, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Heinz, 21, and his two companions had stepped in front of his car in downtown Hiroshima. He also admitted threatening the other two men with the gun.

Matsumoto handed over a semiautomatic pistol when he appeared at Hiroshima Higashi Police Station at around 9:40 p.m., police said. He was promptly arrested on suspicion of violating the firearms and swords law.

Police plan to question Matsumoto further in pursuit of attempted murder charges.

He was quoted as telling police, “I became annoyed when the man cut in front of my car. So I shot him.”

The attack took place at around 4 a.m. Sunday in Naka Ward when Heinz and the two other servicemen were walking on a street. One shot was fired, hitting Heinz in the left side of his waist.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.