An unidentified knife-wielding man slashed an officer to death outside a police station in Japan Tuesday morning before grabbing and using his firearm to gun down a nearby elementary school security guard, officials say.
The chaos in Toyama prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, ended after the suspect was wounded by the gunfire of another policeman and then captured. As of now, the motivation behind his actions is unknown.
The security guard that was shot and killed was 69 years old. For safety measures, teachers were instructed to escort their students to the school’s gymnasium as advised by police, Principal Yoshiaki Iino said.
Multiple Japanese media outlets reported that the suspect is 21 years old.
Tomohiro Yamada, a prefectural police director, apologized on television for the fatal incident.
“We regret that the police officer had his gun stolen,” Yamada said.
Typically, Japan is recognized for its generally low crime rates, but there has been a recent surge in random stabbings.
An attacker on a bullet train stabbed and killed a passenger last month who was trying to save two other passengers from getting injured. In another instance, an 18-year-old man was arrested last week after allegedly slashing a boy walking home from school in Shizuoka.
Shootings though, are rare in Japan, according to the National Police Agency. In 2016, it reported 25 shooting arrests, nine of which were related to cases involving deaths. In comparison, there were 130 knifing cases the same year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.