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Kanagawa stabbing suspect sought world where ‘disabled can be euthanized’

Satoshi Uematsu
Satoshi Uematsu

KANAGAWA (TR) – The 26-year-old suspect in a stabbing rampage early Tuesday inside a facility for the handicapped in Sagamihara City had sent a letter to a lawmaker in Tokyo that discussed the elimination of handicapped persons, investigative sources with the Kanagawa Prefectural Police have revealed, reports Nippon News Network (July 26).

On February 15, Satoshi Uematsu, who has been accused in the killing of 19 persons at the Tsukui Yamayuri En facility, arrived at the official residence of the lower house chairman in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and presented a letter.

“As to my goal, with the daily lives of persons with multiple disabilities being extremely difficult in the home, I would like a world where (a disabled person) can be euthanized with the consent of a guardian,” read part of the letter, which was hand-written on multiple A4-sized sheets of paper.

According to police, Uematsu, a former employee at Tsukui Yamayuri En, entered the facility at approximately 2:10 a.m. on Tuesday and began stabbing patients in succession. Of those killed, nine are men, aged between 41 and 67. The 10 women who perished are between 19 and 70, according to the Asahi Shimbun (July 26).

Another 20 persons suffered serious injuries, with six others receiving wounds that are not considered serious.

“A difficult situation”

At around 2:30 a.m., police received a call from a person at the facility about “a difficult situation.” About 30 minutes later, Uematsu turned himself over to officers at the Tsukui Police Station. He was subsequently charged with murder.

At the time of his apprehension, the suspect was wearing a black t-shirt and black pants. He was carrying a bag that contained three knives, with one of them stained in blood.

The Tsukui Yamayuri En facility opened in 1964. As of the end of April, the facility had 149 handicapped residents, aged between 19 and 75. Uematsu worked at the facility between December of 2012 and February of this year.

The letter submitted to the lower house chairman, which was signed by Uematsu and included his address, was subsequently passed on to the Kojimachi Police Station. The document was then sent to the Tsukui Police Station.