Suspect in Japan Knife Attack Told Police It Was ‘Better That the Disabled Disappear’

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An apparently disturbed man arrested in a stabbing rampage at a care facility for mentally disabled people near Tokyo on Tuesday had earlier warned authorities that he might carry out the attack, according to police and local news media.

At least 19 are dead and 26 injured after the man, a former employee, allegedly broke into the facility early Tuesday and went room to room stabbing patients with a knife. He was arrested without incident after he turned himself in at a police station nearby, according to Kyodo News Service.

It is one of the worst mass killings in Japan in modern times.

Kyodo News Service said police arrested a 26-year-old man who turned himself in at a nearby police station at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, local time.

Police said the man, identified as Satoshi Uematsu, told them “I did it,” and “It’s better that the disabled disappear,” according to Kyodo.

Police said Uematsu entered the facility at about 2:10 a.m., Tuesday, local time, by breaking a ground floor window with a hammer, then apparently went room to room stabbing anyone he saw. Police said Uematsu later drove himself to a police station where he surrendered without incident.

He had a bag full of knives and other edged tools, some with bloodstains, when he turned himself in, Kyodo reported.

Kanagawa Prefectural officials said at a news conference that Uematsu worked at the care facility from 2012 to February 2016 and that he left “for personal reasons.” No further details were available.

The attack took place at the Tsukui Yamayuri En (Tsukui Lily Garden), a residential home for disabled people run by Kanagawa Prefecture, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside Tokyo. Officials said about 150 people, ranging in age from 19 to 75, live at the care home.

According to police, Uematsu delivered a handwritten letter to the official residence of the House of Representatives speaker in February, at about the time he left his job, in which he suggested that he was planning to kill people at the facility. He indicated the attack would take place at night, when fewer staff were on duty.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Kirk Spitzer