Japan Stabbing Attack: 19 Dead, More Than 20 Injured in Sagamihara

July 25, 2016 Last Updated: July 25, 2016

A man was arrested for stabbing and killing at least 19 people at a facility for the disabled in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, according to Japanese media reports.

The man also stabbed up to another 45 people at the Yamayuri-en facility, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported, which said that only 15 people were killed in the attack.

According to Kyodo News, the man was in his 20s. The news agency reported that 19 people were dead.

Kanagawa Prefecture is located about 20 miles from Tokyo.

“A knife-wielding man has reportedly gone on a rampage at a facility for handicapped people in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo,” the broadcaster reported.

The Japan Times reported that Kanagawa police arrested the man when he turned himself in at the Tsukui Police Station at approximately 3 a.m. local time, claiming responsibility for the attack. The man, who was not named, used to work at the facility.

A person who lives near the facility told NHK said a man with blonde hair and black clothes was being held by police.

In the developed world, Japan has one of the lowest rates of violent crime. Random attacks involving weapons of any kind are rare.

In Japan, mass stabbing incidents are unusual but do happen. In June, a woman was stabbed to death and three were injured in northern Japan, reported the AFP news agency.  Last March, a 40-year-old man was arrested after a stabbing spree that killed five people Japan’s western Hyogo prefecture. 

In 2001, a 37-year-old former janitor stabbed eight children to death with a kitchen knife in Osaka, and he seriously injured 15 more.

Eight years ago, a man killed seven people and injured 10 in Tokyo after intentionally driving his truck into a crowd of people and stabbing more.