A man went on a stabbing rampage in Japan’s Kawasaki City, southwest of central Tokyo, on May 28, killing two people and injuring at least 17 others, including school-age children.
According to local media, the man killed one girl and an adult who may have been the father of one of the children.
The attack, which took place during the morning rush hour, left 16 other girls between the ages of 6 and 12 and a woman wounded. The middle-aged attacker died of a self-inflicted wound.
One eyewitness told NHK that the attack occurred by a bus stop.
“I heard the sound of lots of ambulances and I saw a man lying near a bus stop bleeding,” the man, who wasn’t identified, told NHK. “There is another bus stop near the elementary school and I also saw elementary schoolchildren lying on the ground … It’s a quiet neighborhood, it’s scary to see this kind of thing happen.”
According to the public broadcaster, the attacker began slashing at people as they were waiting at a bus stop. Two knives, along with some of the victims, were found in a nearby park, the broadcaster reported.
Scores of officials, including policemen and firemen, were present at Kawasaki’s Tama Ward, near Noborito Station.
“I heard fire engines coming in the morning and I saw a man lying on the ground bleeding,” a man who lives nearby told NHK. “I saw many elementary school children lying on the ground near a school bus stop. School rucksacks were scattered all over the place.”
Dai Nagase, a spokesman for the Kawasaki Fire Department, told AFP: “We received an emergency call at 7:44 a.m., which said four elementary schoolchildren were stabbed.”
A motive for the attack was undetermined.
U.S. President Donald Trump has sent his condolences to the victims, saying that “Americans stand” with Japan and the victims of the mass stabbing.
Violent crime is rare in Japan but there have periodically been high-profile incidents that have shocked the nation.
In 2018, a man was arrested in central Japan after he stabbed one person to death and injured two others on a bullet train.
In 2016, a man stabbed and killed 19 people at a disability center south of Tokyo.
A stabbing spree on a school bus and a commuter bus in a Tokyo suburb in 2010 injured more than a dozen people.
Two years earlier, a 28-year-old man drove a truck into a crowded pedestrian crossing in Tokyo, killing three people, and then fatally stabbed four others.
Reuters contributed to this report.