Thu, Jun 28, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Man kills cop then shoots school guard in northern Japan

AP, TOKYO

A knife-wielding man on Tuesday killed an officer in a neighborhood police station in northern Japan, took the man’s gun and fatally shot a security guard at the entrance to a nearby elementary school, police said.

Toyama prefectural police and school officials said the unidentified male suspect, who walked into the school, was shot by a second police officer and captured after the afternoon attack, when children were still at school.

Police said his motive was not known.

Teachers put all the children in the school gymnasium for safety after being cautioned by police, principal Yoshiaki Iino told reporters.

Teachers called police and an ambulance after spotting the suspect in the school yard and the guard lying on the ground, Iino said.

Video showed many police officers outside the school.

Parents came to pick up their children, with some saying the attacker’s brief intrusion into the school reminded them of a 2001 attack at an Osaka school in which eight children were killed and 15 others, including teachers, injured.

Public television NHK and other Japanese media said police identified the suspect as a 21-year-old.

He was shot in the stomach and unconscious.

Prefectural police director Tomohiro Yamada apologized in a televised news conference for a gun crime that caused fear in the neighborhood.

“We regret that the police officer had his gun stolen,” Yamada said.

Japan, known for its relatively low crime rate, has been experiencing a series of apparently random stabbings.

In a case on a bullet train earlier this month, an attacker fatally stabbed a passenger who tried to stop him after two others were injured.

In Shizuoka in central Japan, an 18-year-old man was arrested earlier this week for allegedly slashing a boy on his way home from school.

Shootings are rare.

In 2016 there were 25 shooting arrests, including nine involving fatalities, compared with more than 130 cases of knife possession and attacks, according to National Police Agency data.

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