National / Crime & Legal

KyoAni arson suspect 'wanted to hurt many' in attack on studio: sources

JIJI

Shinji Aoba, the Kyoto Animation Co. arson suspect, has told police that he wanted many people injured by his attack, investigative sources said Monday.

The arson attack at a studio of the company, also known as KyoAni, in the city of Kyoto occurred on July 18. A total of 36 people died as a result of the attack.

In voluntary questioning by investigators from the Kyoto Prefectural Police, 41-year-old Aoba is said to have largely admitted to allegations of murdering the 36 and attempting to kill 34 others.

“I targeted the No. 1 Studio, where the largest number of people were working, because I wanted to hurt many people,” Aoba was quoted as saying. “I lit the fire because (KyoAni) stole my novel,” he added.

The suspect said he was determined to carry out the attack when he left his home in Saitama Prefecture, and that he expects to get the death penalty, according to the sources.

Regarding the knives discovered in his bag and near the site of the incident, Aoba said he had planned to assault anyone if they got in the way of the arson attack.

Aoba himself suffered severe burns over his entire body during the attack. He is currently in hospital in Osaka Prefecture.

Police are waiting for him to recover sufficiently so that they can serve an arrest warrant.