• Kyodo

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A teenager from Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture, under arrest after allegedly killing his grandparents said he was ready to kill anyone but picked family members because someone else might run away, police said Monday.

“I wanted to kill anybody, even a passer-by,” police quoted the 17-year-old as saying.

“Now, on second thought I’ve done something terrible. I really regret it,” he allegedly said during interrogation.

The high school student, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was arrested after he turned himself in Saturday evening, saying he had killed his grandmother, 64, and grandfather, 67.

He was initially arrested for the alleged murder of his grandmother only, but the Chiba Prefectural Police are investigating the case on suspicion of double murder.

They handed the teen’s case over to the prosecutors Monday morning.

According to the police, the teen has confessed to killing both grandparents at around 6 a.m. Wednesday. The police speculate he used a spare set of keys in his possession to enter their house when the couple were asleep.

The bodies of the couple, who were dressed in pajamas, bore stab wounds, and their heads appeared to have been beaten repeatedly with a blunt instrument.

The incident left the family’s neighbors and acquaintances in shock. Some said it was unbelievable and clashed with the teen’s good nature and seemingly amicable relationship with his grandparents.

According to the police, the teen said he wanted to kill in order to cope with stress stemming from problems with his school peers.

His school has not confirmed whether the teen had been bullied, but it did say he did not cause problems, had a good attendance record and got good grades.

“He didn’t look like someone who could do something like this. I’m really shocked,” said a classmate who often spent time with the suspect and once visited the murdered couple’s house.

The teen, who lives with his mother in Kimitsu, often visited his grandparents alone. The four had previously lived together.

Juvenile delinquency expert Mitsuro Sasaki, a part-time lecturer at a junior college affiliated with the University of Shizuoka, said the teen may have been struggling emotionally with the process of maturing.

Sasaki, who was previously a family court probation officer, speculated that the teen’s act might have resulted from emotional outbursts and was targeted at relatives he could easily reach.

“We need to take a closer look at his developmental history and try to find what really triggered the murder,” Sasaki said.

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