A woman and two police officers were killed today in a shooting and knife attack at a farm in central Japan, reports Reuters. One person was injured. The suspect, who is believed to be in his thirties, is barricaded in the house of the city council president, Kyodo news agency reports. Authorities urged residents to stay indoors in the rural area around the city of Nakano in the Nagano region, where the attack took place.
Media say this is a rare case of violent crime in Japan, a country with a low homicide rate. Also, Japan has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. Anyone who wants to own a gun in Japan must go through a rigorous process before receiving a permit. State broadcaster NHK and other major Japanese media reported that a woman was stabbed in the attack and that two police officers were shot. Police did not immediately confirm the details when contacted by AFP.
A 72-year-old witness said he was working on a nearby farm when a woman came running from the road saying “Help me” and then fell to the ground.
– A masked man came from behind her with a big knife and stabbed her in the back – the witness said. The man says he called 911 while neighbors tried to resuscitate the woman. NHK, citing police, said the gunman then fired several shots at the officers from a shotgun-like weapon. The officers were shot after arriving at the scene in a patrol car. The assailant placed the weapon on the window of the police vehicle and fired twice. A man was also injured in the attack.