Sagamihara, Japan – A deadly knife attack in a home for the disabled in Japan leaves 19 people dead and 25 more injured. At 2:10 on Tuesday morning, Satoshi Uematsu allegedly broke into Tsukui Yamayuri-en through a window, according to security footage played on Japanese news. He then proceeded to stab residents with knives he brought to the facility, inflicting all of his damage in just 40 minutes. Fifteen minutes after staff at Tsukui Yamayuri-en had called the police, Uematsu turned himself in.
Police cars lined up outside of Tsukui Yamayuri-en, a home for the disabled, where 19 people were killed and 25 more injured in one of Japan’s worst mass murders. Photo credit: Instagram.
Uematsu allegedly tied up staff and took the keys for the residences in the facilities, according to local Japanese news. He then allegedly stabbed residents in their sleep. The oldest victim was 70 and the youngest was 19.
This attack has shocked and captured attention worldwide, being covered by news organizations around the world.
Tsukui Yamayuri-en, which translates to “mountain lily garden,” is located in Sagamihara, Kanagawa prefecture, 50 kilometres outside of Tokyo and sister city of both Toronto and Trail, British Columbia.
Uematsu, 26, who was described to local media as a considerate and polite young man, was a former employee of the facility. Uematsu worked at Tsukui Yamayuri-en since 2012, but was fired in February of this year.
In February, Uematsu hand-delivered a letter to Japanese parliament, outlining his ‘revolution’, says local news. The letter, which was printed by Kyodo News after the attack, shows a man asking the government to euthanize people with disabilities. Uematsu says,”My reasoning is that I may be able to revitalize the world economy and I thought it might be possible to prevent World War III.” As well, in the letter, Uematsu lays out a plan to kill 470 disabled people and then turn himself into the police.
The letter included Uematsu’s name and address, according to local news, and he was institutionalized. Kanagawa Governor, Yuji Kuroiwa, offered his condolences to the families of those killed. The Kanagawa government said it will support the families affected by this tragedy and do what it can to prevent another incident like this at the facility.
This is the worst mass killing in Japan’s post-war history. The country has strict gun control policies. In Japan, it is prohibited to own semi-automatic and fully-automatic assault rifles as well as hand guns, with the exception of sports shooters. In recent mass killings in Japan, assailants have used knives.
Most recently in 2010, 13 people were injured when a man attacked people on two public buses just outside of Tokyo.
In 2001, a man stabbed and killed 8 children and injured another 13 people in an elementary school in Osaka.
In 1995, doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo killed 13 people and injured 6,000 more by releasing sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system.