TOKYO (TR) – A Japanese idol who was stabbed repeatedly by a male fan on Saturday before an event had previously told police of concerns the suspect was a stalker, authorities said.
Tomohiro Iwazaki, 27, stabbed Mayu Tomita at least 20 times at around 5 p.m. using a folding knife that was found later at the crime scene, the Asahi Shimbun reports (May 21).
Police said Tomita, a third-year student at a private university, was hospitalized in critical condition.
Iwazaki reportedly admitted to the allegations, quoted by local media as saying there was “no mistake that I stabbed her.”
According to police, Tomita visited Musashino Police Station, which is near her residence, and reported concerns over Iwazaki by saying that a “male fan was persistently leaving comments on her blog.” Tomita was said to have called police numerous times afterward.
Two days before the attack on Thursday, Musashino police told personnel at the Koganei Police Station to “take crime prevention measures if there is an emergency call.” But authorities didn’t make preparations on Saturday because no calls were made.
According to one of Tomita’s male fans in his 30s, the idol was being accosted at a fan greeting event three or four months ago by a “man who wouldn’t leave her alone, asking for her phone number and such.”
The male fan also said “it seems [Tomita] was afraid of being stalked, often visiting her family’s home and making fewer remarks on Twitter and such.”
Iwazaki’s father who lives in Gunma Prefecture told the Asahi: “I haven’t met my son recently, so I don’t know how things turned out this way. Right now, I’m just praying for the victim’s recovery.”
“Blood on the floor”
NHK quoted a woman who works at a restaurant near the crime scene as saying: “After I came back from shopping, there were lots of police officers.
“I also saw blood on the floor near stairs that lead to the venue. There were also masks and a guitar case on the floor, both covered in blood.”