City assembly head's son arrested over deadly attack in central Japan

City assembly head's son arrested over deadly attack in central Japan

Baku, May 26, AZERTAC

The son of a city assembly chief in central Japan was arrested Friday on suspicion of killing a policeman in a stabbing and shooting attack that left a total of four people dead, Kyodo News Agency reported.

The police identified the suspect as Masanori Aoki, 31, the eldest son of Masamichi Aoki, speaker of the city assembly in Nakano, Nagano Prefecture. He has admitted to the allegations.

He was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a police officer on Thursday before barricading himself in his father's house, where he also lived.

The suspect was persuaded by police to surrender and taken into custody at around 4:37 a.m. on Friday.

The police initially received an emergency call at around 4:25 p.m. Thursday saying a man had stabbed a woman in the city, which lies to the northeast of the prefectural capital of Nagano.

The suspect, wearing camouflage clothing, a hat, sunglasses and a mask, allegedly fired at two police officers who arrived at the scene before barricading himself in the house.

The two officers were named as Yoshiki Tamai, 46, and Takuo Ikeuchi, 61. Neither had been wearing bulletproof vests at the time.

The woman who was stabbed and later pronounced dead was identified as Yukie Murakami, 66, while another woman who had been found injured nearby and later confirmed dead was named as Yasuko Takeuchi, 70.

Through the early hours of the morning, the suspect's mother and aunt escaped the house. The 57-year-old assembly chief was confirmed safe after his son's surrender.

Gun ownership is strictly controlled in Japan. Local police on Friday said the suspect had a license for four firearms, including rifles and air guns.

Neighbors described the suspect as "quiet," and said he did not leave the house often. He is believed to have been involved in operating a farm that supplied fruit to a gelato store his father had opened.

Residents within a 300-meter radius of the crime scene evacuated to a local junior high school, and all returned to their homes by Friday morning.

The last time multiple police officers were killed in an incident in Japan dates back to 1990 in Okinawa Prefecture when two plain-clothes officers patrolling amid a gang war were targeted after being mistaken for gangsters, according to police sources.

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