In the town of Kawasaki Japan, a middle aged man started a stabbing rampage of standby children and parents waiting for a bus ride near a school. An 11 year old school girl Hanako Kuribayashi and a 39 year old parent Satoshi Oyama were the two fatalities and seventeen more injured, mostly children.
The attacker, a 51 year old man identified by the police as Ryuichi Iwasaki stabbed himself to death after the rampage. Local media reports said that the attack took about 20 seconds to unfold. A man suddenly started slashing randomly at people as they await their bus ride near Caritas School. He had knives in both hands and said to have stabbed himself in the neck until he died after the attack. According to local media report, the police found additional two knives in the attackers backpack which he apparently left at the convenient store. The police is still mum though as to the motive of the attack.
Little is known of the attacker except that he had been living with his aunts and uncles and that his relatives had been getting in touch with the local Kawasaki officials fourteen times between 2017 to 2019 over their worries of Iwasaki. The relatives told officials that Iwasaki had been out of work and had “hikikomori” tendencies, a local term referring to a person shutting himself to the outside world for years.
A man claiming to have taught Iwasaki in high school says that the child was not a stand out way back in high school. He was just a normal kid who would shove playfully with his friends like normal kids do and had no signs of violent tendencies.
The attack shocked the entire nation as Japan is a nation known to be among the safest in the world due to its very low crime rate. The low crime rate is partly because of the nation’s very strict policy on gun ban and gun ownership. It is common in Japan to see young school kids travel alone to and from school.
On Wednesday, the police begun searching the attackers home and seized a few unknown items. Few details are provided by the local police as to the development in their investigation but the government spokesman Yoshihinde Suga assured the public that the government will work hand in hand to come up with measures to ensure children’s safety travelling to and from their school.
A woman neighbor said that Iwasaki greeting her with good morning 40 minutes before initiating the attack which the neighbor claims to be unusual for the man. The home of Iwasaki is near the crime scene.
The school will be closed for the entire week and the Local government officials promised that they will provide mental support and counselling for the distraught school kids.
On Wednesday morning, people continue to gather where the attack took place to lay flowers and pay tribute to the two innocent victims who died in a senseless act of violence. It is common for Japanese mourners to bring food and drinks which could be seen all over the crime scene.