News 17 Hit or Stabbed, 7 Confirmed Dead in Tokyo's Akihabara (Update 9)
posted on 2008-06-08 02:10 EDT by Egan Loo
At least 16 people were injured, and two have been confirmed as dead, after a truck collided with pedestrians and the truck's driver allegedly stabbed people at Tokyo's Akihabara otaku shopping district on Sunday afternoon. A man reportedly struck five to six individuals with a truck at an intersection near the main Japan Railways station at around 12:35 p.m. The man allegedly proceeded to leave the vehicle and stab people on the street. Later that afternoon, the police arrested a 25-year-old male named Tomohiro Katō on suspicion of attempted murder by "stabbing one person after another with a knife." Kato was born in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, but lives in Shizuoka Prefecture's Susono City in central Japan.
16 people were taken to hospitals, and two people — a 19-year-old male and a 74-year-old male — have reportedly died. Three more were in cardiac arrest.
Update: Details about the suspect and the victims added.
Update 2: FNN has added video coverage. Sunday is usually the busiest day for pedestrian shoppers in Akihabara, as it is the day that the most people have a day off school or work in Japan.
Update 3: Sankei Shimbun now reports that a third person, a 47-year-old male, has died. A 17th person, a police officer, was also injured. The truck was a two-ton rental vehicle. According to eyewitnesses, the truck entered the intersection in a zigzag manner and passed the vehicles that had stopped at a red light to strike pedestrians on the crosswalk.
Update 4: Nikkei is reporting that five people have died. Of the injured, 14 were male, and 3 were female. The incident occurred at the intersection of Chūō and Kanda Myōjin Streets, two of the main throughways of the area.
Update 5: NHK News reports that a 21-year-old woman is the sixth person confirmed as having died in the incident. Sankei Shimbun lists the other victims as a 19-year-old male named Kazunori Fujino, a 74-year-old male named Katsuhiko Nakamura, a 47-year-old male, a 29-year-old male, and a 20-year-old male. Sankei Shimbun also displayed a reader-submitted photograph of the suspect being arrested.
Update 6: Nikkei reports that a seventh person, 33-year-old Mitsuru Matsui, has died.
Update 7: 47 News lists the dead:
- Katsuhiko Nakamura (male, 74 years old)
- Kazunori Fujino (male, 19)
- Kasuhiro Koiwa (male, 47)
- Naoki Miyamoto (male, 31)
- Takahiro Kawaguchi (male, 19)
- Mai Mutō (female, 21)
- Mitsuru Matsui (male, 33)
Update 8: The incident in the intersection occurred near the main Akihabara branch of Sofmap, one of the largest Japanese retailers of electronics, music, home video, and software. The new eight-story complex of Mandarake, the largest store chain for used anime and manga goods, is one block away. Police apprehended the suspect against the wall of a branch of Satō Musen, a discount store chain of electronics and appliances. Stores are reportedly closed in the immediate vicinity.
Update 9: Jiji Press and Byōkan Sunday report that a message, titled "I will kill people in Akihabara," was posted on a mobile phone bulletin board about seven hours before the fatal hit-and-run incident and the stabbing incident in Akihabara. The message reportedly reads:
I Will Kill People in Akihabara
I will come barging in with a vehicle, and if I can't use the vehicle, I will use a knife. Farewell, everyone.