• Kyodo

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A 45-year-old part-time worker at a convenience store was stabbed to death Wednesday in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, while the assailant later died from self-inflicted wounds, police said.

Mari Honna was stabbed in the chest at the checkout counter while serving a customer at around 4:35 p.m.

The assailant — identified Thursday as Hiroyuki Kawada, 41 — and Honna had been in a relationship since around May last year, and their breakup apparently led to the attack, police said.

The police plan to turn over the case to prosecutors as murder even though the suspect is dead.

According to the police, another employee stopped Kawada from accessing the cash register following the assault on Honna, whereupon the attacker stabbed himself in the abdomen multiple times.

Honna called police Sunday to tell them she was “scared,” as Kawada had told her he would come to her house. She then visited a police station in the early hours of Tuesday to consult with officers, saying she continued to receive phone calls and online messages from Kawada even after they broke up.

The police beefed up patrols in the neighborhood, they said. “We handled the case in accordance with the wishes (of the victim), but it is truly regrettable that it turned out to be the worst case scenario,” a police officer said.

The convenience store is located along a main street about 2 kilometers from JR Utsunomiya Station.

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