A MAN armed with a knife broke into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo yesterday and killed 19 patients as they slept.
Authorities said it was Japan’s worst mass killing in decades.
At least 25 other residents were wounded in the attack at the Tsukui Yamayuri-En facility in Sagamihara town, about 40km south-west of Tokyo.
“This is a very heart-wrenching and shocking incident in which many innocent people became victims,” said chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga.
The suspect is a 26-year-old former employee of the facility who gave himself up to the police.
According to Kyodo News the man, Satoshi Uematsu, said in letters he wrote in February that he could “obliterate” 470 disabled people. He said he would kill 260 severely disabled people in two areas of the facility during night shift, but would not hurt employees.
“My goal is a world in which the severely disabled can be euthanised, with their guardians’ consent, if they are unable to live at home and be active in society,” Uematsu wrote in the letters. – REUTERS