A woman and two policemen were killed in a shooting and stabbing in central Japan on Thursday.
The incident took place in a quiet farm neighborhood near Nakano in Nagano Prefecture.
Witnesses described seeing a man wearing camouflage and a mask stab a woman and then shoot two policemen with what appeared to be a hunting rifle.
It is believed that the culprit barricaded himself inside the house of the president of the city council, and the authorities said that they could not save the fourth person who was injured because he was too close to the suspect.
Woman stabbed in the back
A 72-year-old witness told public broadcaster NHK that he was working on another farm nearby when “a woman ran from the road saying ‘help me’, and she fell.”
“Behind him was a man wearing camouflage and carrying a large knife, stabbing him in the back,” he said.
According to the police, the attacker shot dead the two officers who arrived at the scene.
Although violent crimes are rare in Japan, which has strict gun control laws, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was killed last year with a homemade weapon.
zc/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)