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Japan shooting: Three dead, including two police officers, in rare mass stabbing and shooting attack in central Japan


Naoto Suzuki/AP

A photo shows a house where a suspect barricaded himself with a hunting gun in Nakano City on May 25, 2023.


Three people were killed, including two police officers, in a shooting and stabbing in central Japan on Thursday, NHK reported, citing police.

Police received a call late in the afternoon with reports of a “man stabbing a woman,” a Nakano City police official told CNN.

As officers rushed to the scene, the man fired what appeared to be a hunting rifle, striking four people before fleeing the scene and barricading himself in a building, he added.

The woman was taken to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Public broadcaster NHK later reported that two police officers also died of their injuries and that another person was injured.

NHK reported that the suspect was wearing a camouflage hat, top and bottom with sunglasses and a mask.

Nakano City urged citizens to stay indoors in a statement posted on social media on Thursday.

Gun violence is extremely rare in Japan. The country has one of the lowest gun crime rates in the world due to its extremely strict gun control laws.

In 2018, Japan, a country of 125 million people, reported just nine deaths from firearms — compared with 39,740 that year in the United States, according to data compiled by the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

However, Japan was rocked by a shooting last year that reverberated around the world.

Shinzo Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot dead during a campaign speech in Nara in July.

His murder sent shockwaves through Japan and the international community, and also sparked questions about whether sufficient security was in place to protect him despite Japan’s track record of being a safe place.

It is extremely difficult to obtain a firearm in Japan, and the suspect in Abe’s shooting used a homemade weapon.

This is a breaking news story, more to come

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