Deadly knife attack in Shibuya caused panic and several people were hurt, some seriously
A man dressed as the Joker had stabbed 17 people on a crowded Tokyo train, killing himself after a panicked rush by passengers to wrest the knife from him, police said on Monday.
The suspect, a 23-year-old man, had been carrying what was thought to be a ratchet knife in a handkerchief, police said. A police official added that he was found to have more than 1,400 yen (£8) worth of cash in his pocket.
One passenger was seriously injured and six suffered minor injuries after the Sunday night attack, which was only halted when police opened fire, hitting the attacker in the head with a Taser, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
No one else was hurt in the shoot-out, during which officers said they “apprehended the man using the knife in his hand”, police said.
Only a few hours earlier, the man was in court hearing charges relating to two earlier slashings, the official said.
Several members of the public were injured. Photograph: Kyodo/EPA
The suspect attacked four subway riders on the 7.15pm line from Shibuya to neighbouring Shinjuku station, wounding three of them critically, according to police. He then stabbed 10 more passengers as they tried to flee, police said.
Police arrested the suspect, whom they said they did not know, after he gave up on the train at Shinjuku station, just north of the capital.
Nobody answered the door at his last known address and authorities said they would not release any more information on him for the time being.
The man shouted “Death to all police” during the attack, police said. Witnesses told public broadcaster NHK that he said: “I hate you.”
Kim Jae-yoon, 23, said he saw the suspect come out of a staircase smoking and then he was hit by a shockwave that shook the train. “He shouted at the top of his lungs: ‘Death to all police,’” Kim said.
The suspect was hurt in the attack and was transported to Ichikawa hospital, according to the subway operator, JR East. It said the incident was not “greatly affecting” the subway.
An eyewitness, Koji Kobayashi, told NHK the man appeared to be in his early 20s, and that he “very calmly” stabbed people. He was also wearing a yellow Batman suit.
Dozens of officers escorted the suspect, covered with blood, from the station to an ambulance, video footage showed.
A 16-year-old girl who was on the train witnessed the attack and was taken to hospital for treatment, NHK said.
Witnesses posted photos and videos on social media showing people walking over others on the train and stampedes by passengers trying to flee.
Many other people, some covered in blood, boarded the train after it arrived at the station, NHK said. Some journalists caught up in the attack also posted pictures of people rushing towards the train.
Train service was disrupted as police set up checkpoints and got passengers off the train, AP reported.