A man armed with knives attacked a care home in Japan last night, leaving 19 dead and 26 others injured. He was quoted as saying, “it is better that disabled people disappear.”
Nine women and ten men were murdered, ranging in ages from 18 to 70. The event is the country’s worst mass killing in decades.
Staff at the Tsuki Yamayri En (Tsuki Lily Garden) home in Sagamihara, South of Tokyo, rang police at around 2:30am after Satoshi Uematsu attacked. Police said he drove to a nearby police station and turned himself in after his massacre.
26-year-old Uematsu was a previous employee at the facility, and entered the building by smashing a window with a hammer, and carrying a bag full of knives and other sharp-edged tools. Some of them were bloodstained when he handed himself in.
A police spokesman declined to share information of the investigation, only stating, “we are still confirming details of the case.”
Police are yet to establish a motive for the devastating attack, although Uematsu was “involuntarily committed” in hospital for two weeks in February for previous comments that he would kill disabled people.
He was contacted by Tsukui police after he had tried to pass a letter outlining his intentions to the speaker of the lower house of Japan’s parliament. The letter argued that the government should begin to permit euthanasia for disabled people, and Uematsu put himself forward to carry out the killings himself, as well as giving details of how he would do it.
“I envision a world where a person with multiple disabilities can be euthanised, with an agreement from the guardians, when it is difficult for the person to carry out household and social activities.”
“[I could] wipe out a total of 470 disabled individuals [during the night shift] when staffing is low”.
“The act will be carried out speedily, and definitely without harming the staff. After wiping out the 260 people in two facilities, I will turn myself in.”