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19 Die In Knife Attack At Care Facility West Of Tokyo

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Journalists gather in front of Tsukui Yamayuri-en, an assisted care facility where at least 19 people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo Tuesday.
Eugene Hoshiko, AP
Journalists gather in front of Tsukui Yamayuri-en, an assisted care facility where at least 19 people were killed and dozens injured in a knife attack in Sagamihara, outside Tokyo Tuesday.

A 26-year-old man is under arrest for going on a rampage in an assisted care facility near Tokyo, in a shocking attack that's being called the worst mass killing in postwar Japan. Police say the man turned himself in after he killed 19 people and injured more than 20.

Satoshi Uematsu, 26, is a former employee of the facility in the city of Sagamihara; police say he broke into its building around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, committed murder, and later drove to the local police station. Multiple Japanese media are relaying a quote from Uematsu in which he told police, "It's better that the disabled disappear."

The police say Uematsu "showed up at the station with three bloodstained knives in a bag," reports The Japan Times.

Broadcaster NHK cites police who say the man targeted patients "who were unable to communicate their feelings."

From Tokyo, John Matthews tells NPR's Newscast unit:

"A letter the attacker sent before being fired from the facility indicates that he knew staffing would be low late in the night, allowing him to get in and 'wipe out,' in his words, 260 disabled persons across two homes. It appears to be the deadliest attack seen in Japan since World War II, killing more than even the sarin gas attack of 1995, which killed 12, injured 50 and temporarily impaired vision for almost 5,000 others on the Tokyo subways."

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