Man arrested in Japan after killing four people in rare gun and knife attack | Crime News:

The suspect was arrested after barricading himself in a building during a 12-hour standoff with police.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in rural Japan after four people were killed in a rare gun and knife attack that sparked a 12-hour standoff with police.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of murder after barricading himself in his father’s home near the city of Nakano, northwest of the capital Tokyo, at 4.30am (7.30pm) on Friday.

The attack began on Thursday afternoon when a local man working on a farm saw a woman “running away from the road screaming ‘help me,'” he told national broadcaster NHK.

“Behind him was a man dressed in camouflage and with a big knife, who stabbed him in the back,” the 72-year-old witness added.

The suspect is accused of shooting two police officers who arrived at the scene after a witness called 911.

The two officers believed to have been shot in their vehicle and the woman were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead within hours.

Another elderly woman also died after the apparent attack. As of Thursday afternoon, he was lying on the ground outside the home and police had not been able to reach him, media reported.

The rampage in the rural western region was a rare case of violent crime in Japan, which has a low homicide rate and some of the strictest gun laws in the world.

View of the two-story house where the suspect hid from the police.  The news crew of the television company is filming the building.  There is a field ahead.
The suspect held himself in a house in Nakano during a 12-hour standoff with police. [Jiji Press via AFP]

A motive for the killing has not yet been revealed, nor has a suspect been officially identified, although several local media outlets have reported that he is the son of Nakano’s city council speaker.

“We pray for the souls of the deceased and express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” ​​senior government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.

“Police are investigating to establish the full picture of the incident, including how the crime unfolded and its background.”

Other details about the attack have become known, including the motive of the suspect.

Nagano prefectural police are scheduled to hold a press conference later Friday.

Japan was stunned last July when former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down on the campaign trail.

A man was arrested last month for allegedly throwing a “smoke bomb” at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida while he was campaigning in the western city of Wakayama.

Kishida was unharmed and the man arrested at the scene will undergo a three-month psychiatric evaluation, a regional court said this week.

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