• Kyodo

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A 16-year-old high school boy was stabbed to death and a high school girl was wounded by a man on a riverbank in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, early Thursday, police said.

Police said a 20-year-old man living nearby was a material witness in the attack. The man was found unconscious at his home Thursday morning, apparently having taken a large number of sleeping pills, and is being treated at a hospital.

Police said they will question the man after he regains consciousness, noting they found a bloodied knife in his room. They suspect he stabbed Kazuyuki Morishige and the girl, also 16, in the back while they were chatting on the riverbank with three other high school girls at around 12:45 a.m. Thursday.

The man, wearing a dark-blue pajamalike shirt and dark pants, chided the students for being noisy and left once after telling them to be quiet but came back again shortly and suddenly stabbed the two students in the back, police alleged.

Morishige was confirmed dead at a hospital. The female victim, who suffered a serious, but not life-threatening, wound, said she does not know her attacker. The three other students, who were not injured, got a 31-year-old man who was passing by to call police.

Residents living near the river have complained about local youth hanging out late at night for fireworks or drinking. But police said the five students were not engaging in such a big party.

Morishige was a student at a local night school while working during the daytime. A 63-year-old neighbor said the youth had a lot of friends and had a cheerful character. Another neighbor, Masako Kai, 83, said: “He was very polite, a good boy.”

Meanwhile, locals said the 20-year-old man did not have a job and seemed to have stayed at home most of the time.

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