National / Crime & Legal

Two men seriously injured in shooting at Osaka gambling den; suspect at large

Kyodo

Two men were seriously injured early Monday at a members-only gambling venue in the city of Osaka’s Minami entertainment district, police said.

A suspect, thought to be a man in his 30s, left behind a revolver while fleeing the casino-style online gambling hub, the police said.

Investigators believe the suspect, who was still at large as of Monday evening, intended to murder the two men, a 42-year-old employee of the venue and a 32-year-old customer, as he shot them immediately upon entering the facility.

The police were trying to determine whether the suspect knew the victims.

The customer fell into a coma after being shot but regained consciousness, while the employee was still comatose as of the evening.

A call was made to the emergency services at around 1 a.m. Monday, with the initial report saying there was an unconscious man in the venue.

The employee was shot in the head while the customer suffered a gunshot wound in the left side of his chest, according to the police.

They said the suspect, who fled on foot, was described as being about 160 cm tall with short hair. He was reportedly wearing a gray T-shirt and trousers.

Another employee in his 30s was in a different room in the venue and was unhurt, the police said.

“This is a very lively area, but I do not recall any past shootings,” said a man in his 40s who delivers napkins to restaurants in the area.

“It’s shocking to hear someone has been shot here,” said a 26-year-old employee of a nearby convenience store.

In the wake of the shooting, more than 10 police officers entered and exited the cordoned-off building where the venue is located as a group of passersby gathered.

An elementary school located 400 meters from the venue posted teachers along nearby roads to supervise arriving students in the morning, and asked parents to ensure that their children do not pass in front of the venue.

“I am very worried because of the proximity of the attack to our school,” Vice Principal Shingo Akae said.