Nineteen people are killed and dozens wounded after an attack by a knife-wielding man at a facility for the disabled in central Japan. A knife-wielding former employee has killed at least 19 people and injured 25 at a care centre for the mentally disabled in Japan, in the country’s worst mass killing in decades. The 26-year-old man, who reportedly threatened to kill hundreds of disabled people earlier this year, later turned himself in at a police station, admitting to officers: “I did it.” He reportedly also said: “The disabled should all disappear.”Authorities identified the attacker as Satoshi Uematsu and said he had worked at the facility in Sagamihara, a city of more than 700,000 people west of Tokyo, until February.
Broadcaster NTV said the man told police he had been fired and held a grudge against the care centre. The attack was “deeply distrubing” in so many levels: “The sheer scale and horrific nature of the attack, the twisted reasoning that apparently lay behind it and the fact that he set out in such a specific detail what he intended to do and was still able to do it.”
The attack began in the early hours of the morning when Uematsu allegedly broke a first-floor window to get into the building. Public broadcaster NHK reported that he tied up one caregiver before starting to stab the residents. A doctor at one of the hospitals where victims were taken said some had “deep stab” wounds to the neck. “The patients are very shocked mentally, and they cannot speak now,” the doctor told NHK. A fleet of ambulances, police cars and fire trucks converged on the Tsukui Yamayuri-en centre, a low-rise complex nestled against forested hills, which was cordoned off and draped with yellow “Keep Out” tape. The killing is believed to be the worst such incident in Japan since 1938, when a man went on a killing spree armed with an axe, sword and rifle, killing 30 people.