The alleged perpetrator of Tuesday’s deadly knife rampage at a residential care facility for people with disabilities appears to have thoroughly planned the attack, bringing with him at least five knives, two hammers and other tools, investigative sources said Friday.
Satoshi Uematsu, a 26-year-old former worker at Tsukui Yamayuri En in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, is believed to have carried a shoulder bag containing the weapons, as well as zip ties and gloves, at the time of the attack, they said.
Five workers were tied up in the massacre that lasted about 40 to 50 minutes and left 19 dead and 26 seriously injured, the sources said.
Uematsu turned himself in shortly after he left the care facility at about 2:47 a.m. Tuesday. It is one of the worst mass killings in postwar Japan.
Police have also determined plant matter found at Uematsu’s home during a raid was marijuana and are now investigating whether he was under the influence of the illegal drug during his rampage, the sources said.
Uematsu had been committed to a mental hospital in February after telling co-workers that disabled people should be euthanized. His urine samples at the time had tested positive for marijuana.
He was discharged from the hospital after about two weeks after his condition was deemed to have improved.
As investigators checked the crime scene, they found a hammer near the window of a ground floor room in the east wing that Uematsu allegedly broke to enter the facility, according to the sources.
He is suspected of having attacked residents with knives as he headed for the west wing, moving up to the second floor before fleeing from the administrative building’s entrance on the same floor.
Two knives, apparently used in the attack, have been found in the east wing’s first floor corridor, while three other blood-covered knives, a hammer, zip ties and gloves were found inside his bag, they said.
As Uematsu did not enter some rooms at the facility, investigators are now looking into how he chose his victims, according to the sources.
Uematsu was working at the facility from December 2012 until February this year, when he quit soon after his euthanasia remarks.
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