- TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
- At least two people were killed and 16 others – including several children – were injured Tuesday in a mass stabbing near a railway station in Kawasaki, Japan.
- Authorities said the incident occurred at about 7:45 a.m. local time, when many local children make their way to school.
- According to the public broadcaster NHK, an 11-year-old girl and a 39-year-old man later died from their injuries.
- The police arrested a suspect believed to be in his 40s or 50s who later died in the hospital from a self-inflicted knife wound, Kyodo News Agency said.
At least two people were reported killed and 16 others were injured – including several schoolchildren waiting at a bus stop – in a mass stabbing near a railway station in Kawasaki, Japan.
According to Kyodo News Agency, the local fire department said the knife attack occurred at about 7:45 a.m. local time near the Noborito train station, about 14 miles, or 23 kilometers, southwest of the capital city of Tokyo. The Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the incident took place near a park in Kawasaki.
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The police arrested a suspect believed to be in his 40s or 50s, and two knives were confiscated at the scene, Kyodo said. According to the agency, the suspect died in the hospital from a self-inflicted knife wound.
According to NHK, an 11-year-old girl and a 39-year-old man died in a hospital from their injuries.
“I heard fire engines coming in the morning and I saw a man lying on the ground bleeding,” a local man told NHK. “I saw many elementary-school children lying on the ground near a school bus stop.”
Many of the injured children had been waiting at a school bus stop in Kawasaki’s Tama Ward, Japan Times said. A heavy police presence was reported around the site of the incident and the nearby Noborito station.
A motive for the attack remains unclear.
President Donald Trump, who is in Japan on a four-day state visit, expressed condolences to victims of the stabbing.
“On behalf of the first lady and myself, I want to take a moment to send our prayers and sympathy to the victims of the stabbing attack this morning,” Trump said during a visit to a naval base in nearby Yokosuka, according to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for measures to better protect children during their commute to school, NHK said.
While the homicide rate in Japan remains one of the lowest in the world, the country has experienced an uptick in violent crime in recent years.
In 2016, a 26-year-old former employee at a residential center for the disabled in Sagamihara, Japan, was accused of stabbing 45 people, killing 19. The suspect reportedly had written a letter to Japanese officials in which he threatened to “euthanize” multiple people with disabilities.