Nineteen residents have been killed in a knife attack incident at a care centre for people with mental disabilities in Sagamihara, Japan.
The suspect named Satoshi Uematsu, 26, broke a window to get inside the facility and began stabbing people, local media reported.
Police arrested Uematsu, said to be a former employee of the centre who then went to a nearby police station and allegedly admitted the attack.
Uematsu reportedly said he wanted people with disabilities to ‘disappear’.
Local police said the suspect sent a handwritten letter to politicians in February which he threatened to kill hundreds of disabled people. He was kept in hospital for two weeks before being released.
A staff at Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility, called the police at 02:30 local time (17:30 GMT) to report a man with knife inside the building. The facility had about 150 residents, with eight staff members were on duty at the time of the attack, says local officials.
One local resident, Chikara Inabayashi 68, told AFP he woke up at 03:00 by the sound of sirens.
“I was astonished, that’s the only thing I can say.” Inabayashi said.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the attack was a very heart-wrenching and shocking incident where innocent people became victims.
“The patients are very shocked mentally, and they cannot speak now.” a doctor told NHK.
The Kyodo news agency, as citing the Sagamihara City Fire Department said the victims were aged between 19 and 70, 25 people were injured where 20 seriously. Both men and women were reported dead.
Mass killings are extremely rare in Japan, yet officials have ruled out any link to terrorism.