Killing spree struck one family hard


Rie Sugiyama, 28, killed in a stabbing spree Tuesday on Guam, had been looking forward to her younger brother’s wedding ceremony in the U.S. territory scheduled for Thursday — Valentine’s Day.

“I want my daughter back,” said Sugiyama’s father, whose name has not been released. The man is also the son of Kazuko Uehara, 81, another of the three people who have died from the rampage.

About 20 members of the Sugiyama family were on Guam for the wedding ceremony. Before the attack, family members went out for dinner and were shopping in the Tumon tourist district when Uehara was struck by a car that had gone onto the sidewalk. When her son, Sugiyama’s father, ran up to her she was already motionless.

One of the family members saw the perpetrator, whose car had subsequently crashed into a convenience store, holding a 30-cm knife. The man stabbed Sugiyama while she stood near the store’s cash register. She was hugging her 2-year-old daughter tight to protect the child from being stabbed.

Sugiyama’s husband was meanwhile holding their 8-month-old daughter.

A 72-year-old Japanese female volunteer who lives on Guam and accompanied the Sugiyama family at the hospital as an interpreter, heard Sugiyama’s husband repeatedly mumble, “I won’t forgive him.

“I have to prepare for the funeral and I have to raise the children (by myself). I don’t know what to do,” he was quoted as saying while the baby cried beside him, not drinking her formula.

Police believe Uehara was stabbed in addition to being run down by the vehicle. She was bleeding severely from her neck and Sugiyama had collapsed next to her. “Why did we have to be attacked by a random stabber on Guam?” the father asked in anguish. “I want my precious daughter back.”

Sugiyama had been working at her father’s company, where she was in charge of accounting. “She was kind and good at her work. She was my right-hand man. She was a loving mother, too. (The perpetrator) not only took away my mother but my daughter as well,” said the father as he bit his lip in anger.