CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police believe that a shooting incident at a gun range in Inzai City on Tuesday that left a male customer dead was the result of an accident or a suicide, reports Nikkan Sports (July 9).
At around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a staff member at the Narita Shooting Range found the man, believed to be Sakio Hashioka, a 49-year-old instructor of the classical theater form noh, collapsed face-down and bleeding from a wound to his face on the lawn. A shotgun was discovered dropped nearby.
The man was transported in an unconscious state to a nearby hospital where he was confirmed dead about one hour later.
According to police, there were no other customers present at the time of the incident. The man is believed to have obtained the shotgun and purchased ammunition at a gun shop near the range about two hours before, according to TV Asahi (Aug. 9).
Upon his arrival at the range at just before 6:00 p.m., an employee informed the man that the range was nearing its closing time. At the time, the employee did not sense anything unusual about the man.
The range is located in a forest about four kilometers from Imbanihon-Idai Station. According to the web site for the range, it holds various shooting tournaments each month.