The 26-year-old man suspected of carrying out a mass stabbing attack that left 19 people dead at a Japanese care home for the mentally disabled has been moved from a local police station to the prosecutor’s office in Yokohama.
Satoshi Uematsu, his head and shoulders covered with a blue jacket, was led out of a police station in Sagamihara city and into the back of an unmarked white van with emergency lights.
Uematsu had been held at the police station all day and overnight after turning himself in about two hours after Tuesday’s pre-dawn attack.
He had earlier delivered a letter to parliament outlining the bloody plan and saying all disabled people should be put to death.
Kanagawa regional authorities said Uematsu had left dead or injured nearly a third of the nearly 150 patients at the centre in a matter of 40 minutes.
It is Japan’s deadliest mass killing in decades. The fire brigade said 25 were wounded, 20 seriously.
Security camera footage played on TV news shows showed a man driving up in a black car and carrying several knives to the Tsukui Yamayuri-en centre in Sagamihara, 48kms west of Tokyo.
The man broke in at 2.10am by shattering a window, according to a health official, and began slashing patients’ throats.
Sagamihara fire brigade official Kunio Takano said the attacker killed 10 women and nine men. The youngest was 19, the oldest 70.
Details of the attack were not immediately known.
Uematsu had worked at Tsukui Yamayuri-en, which means mountain lily garden, from 2012 until February, when he was let go.
He knew the staffing would be down to just a handful in the early hours of the morning, news reports said.
The centre employs more than 200 people, including part-timers, with nine of them working on the night of the attack, Mr Hirosue said. All those who died were patients.
In February, Uematsu tried to hand deliver a letter to parliament’s lower house speaker that revealed his dark turmoil.
It demanded that all disabled people be put to death through “a world that allows for mercy killing”, Kyodo news agency and TBS TV reported. The parliament office also confirmed the letter.
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