• Kyodo


Police turned over to prosecutors Sunday a former gangster in Aichi Prefecture on suspicion of attempting to murder two of his children and a police officer in last week’s shooting spree at his home.

The police said they are also trying to build a murder charge against Hisato Obayashi, a former member of a gang linked to Japan’ largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, for allegedly fatally shooting another police officer, Kazuho Hayashi, 23, during the incident in the town of Nagakute.

Obayashi has denied he intended to murder anybody, according to the police.

He is suspected of shooting his 25-year-old son, Kento, and 21-year-old daughter, Risa, at his home after they called the police when he became violent following arguments with his former wife, Michiko Mori, 50.

“I asked her to come back to me but she refused. That made me angry and I shot my son and others,” the police quoted Obayashi as telling them.

Obayashi also shot and seriously injured Akifumi Kimoto, one of the police officers who first came to his house.

He took his ex-wife hostage in the standoff after the children were taken to a hospital.

The police suspect Obayashi fired a total of eight rounds during the 29-hour standoff, one of which ended up killing Hayashi, an officer in a special antiterror and hostage-crisis squad.

They seized a handgun loaded with six bullets in the house Saturday.

On Sunday, the police said they discovered and confiscated eight unused 9-mm rounds in various parts of the home, meaning Obayashi had at least 22 rounds before the incident.

The police also said they confirmed the seized gun was a .38-caliber revolver and the bullets were a match.

Meanwhile, Hayashi’s death continued to draw sympathy in the local community, with many people placing flowers on a stand the police set up near the incident site. He is survived by a 24-year-old wife and 10-month-old daughter.

A 29-year-old public worker living in the neighborhood said, with her 6-year-old son tagging along, “I came here wishing I can do something to mourn the policeman. As I have a small kid, I’m feeling a lump in my throat.”

A 33-year-old woman, referring to recent gun crimes in Japan including the April 17 shooting of Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito, said, “Could anyone do something to deal with this ‘gun society?’ Nobody knows when and where gun crimes could occur.”

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