At least 19 people were killed and at least 45 wounded in a knife attack Tuesday at a facility for the handicapped in a city just west of Tokyo in a rare case of mass violence in Japan, according to Japanese media reports. Police said they responded to a call about 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday from an employee saying that they saw a man dressed in black clothes holding a weapon in the grounds of the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden and that something horrible was happening at the facility in the city of Sagamihara.
2 hours after the incident, a man turned himself in at a police station, police in Sagamihara said but left the knife in his car when he entered the station. Police say a 26-year-old man who was a former staff member confessed to the stabbings. The suspect reportedly escaped the facility but then turned himself in He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and trespassing. Police said there were several casualties but did not provide any numbers.
Four of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK reported the suspect’s name as Tsukui Yamayuri-en.
Television footage showed a number of ambulances parked outside the facility, with medical and other rescue workers running in and out. Mass killings are relatively rare in Japan, which has extremely strict gun-control laws.