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Sagamihara stabbings: Suspect prosecuted, offers apology

Satoshi Uematsua
Satoshi Uematsua

KANAGAWA (TR) – The day after a stabbing rampage inside a facility for the handicapped in Sagamihara City, the 26-year-old suspect in the case was sent to prosecutors, reports TBS News (July 27).

On Wednesday morning, Satoshi Uematsu, who is alleged to have killed 19 persons and injured 26 others at the Tsukui Yamayuri En facility, was prosecuted at the Yokohama District Court on charges of murder, specifically for a 19-year-old woman who died. As he was delivered to prosecutors, Uematsu was seen smiling to the assembled press corps from the back of a law enforcement vehicle.

At approximately 2:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Uematsu, a former employee at the facility, entered the building and allegedly began stabbing patients in succession. At some point, he bound the hands of staff member. Of those killed, nine were men, aged between 41 and 67. The 10 women who perished were between 19 and 70.

Kanagawa Prefectural Police released an apology from the suspect. “With regard to this incident, I would like to sincerely apologize to the members of the bereaved families for what ended as a sudden farewell,” Uematsu said.

In alluding to a motive, the suspect had previously told police that “it is good if disabled people are eliminated.” He also reportedly submitted a letter to a politician in February in which he expressed a want for a world where “the disabled can be euthanized.” He also wrote that he wanted to “kill 470 disabled people.”

Five knives

When Uematsu turned himself over to officers about one hour after the massacre started, police seized three knives, including two fruit knives and a vegetable knife. On Wednesday, investigators revealed that two other knives, both soaked in blood, were found at the facility, bringing the total believed to have been used in the crime to five.