World

Japanese doctor killed in rare gun violence

January 28, 2022
Police and other responders outside the suspect's home on Friday.
Police and other responders outside the suspect's home on Friday.

TOKYO — Police have arrested a man in Japan after an 11-hour siege who allegedly attacked three medical workers visiting his home and fatally shot one of them.

Hiroshi Watanabe, 66, is facing murder charges following Thursday's incident in Fujimino, just north of Tokyo.

A well-known doctor, Junichi Suzuki, 44, was shot and held as a hostage, police said. He later died in hospital.

Gun crime of this severity is rare in Japan where firearms are heavily regulated.

It's unknown what led to the violence or how the suspect had a gun, reported as a hunting gun by some outlets. Police have launched an investigation.

Japanese media reported that the medical team had been in-house carers for the suspect's mother, who had died recently.

The group had been making a compassionate visit to the man's home on Thursday night at his request, The Japan Times reported.

Police were first alerted about 21:00 local time (12:00 GMT) after neighbours reported gunshots and found one man bleeding from chest and stomach wounds outside the house.

The 41-year-old man, a nurse, was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition, police said.

Another man, 32, had managed to flee the house to a police station, media reported.

Police advanced on the home that night, the reports said.

Officers spoke with the gunman through the night via phone but he made no requests or demands, local media reported.

On Friday morning, with the siege still underway, authorities evacuated about 110 residents in the neighbourhood and closed nearby schools.

Police stormed the home a short while later where they found Mr Suzuki and arrested the suspect. — BBC


January 28, 2022
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