National / Crime & Legal

Man shot dead by police after knife attack in southwestern Japan

Kyodo, JIJI

A man wielding a knife was shot by police and pronounced dead in a hospital Monday after he attacked a man and a police officer in the city of Kumamoto, the police said.

Two officers responded to an emergency call from a 65-year-old man, who said he had been attacked in a parking lot with a kitchen knife following a “quarrel” with the assailant, who lived in the same apartment. The victim, who sustained minor injuries, told police that he was suddenly attacked by the assailant when he was about to get in his car.

The officer fired five shots after the knife-wielding man jumped on top of him, slashing him in the face three times with a blade roughly 15 cm long. Of the five shots, three hit the man’s body and one struck his right arm. The man was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later.

The police officer warned the man before opening fire, police said.

Shingo Eto, the police station deputy chief, said the use of a gun was unavoidable because both the victim and the police officer were in immediate danger, but the incident is still under investigation.

The officer was attacked in front of a fire station around 400 meters from the parking lot, in a quiet residential area about 500 meters east of Tatsutaguchi Station, the police said.