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Suspect in killing of 4 people, including 2 police officers, in Japan captured after standoff

TOKYO (AP) — Police said early Friday that they captured the suspect armed with a rifle and a knife who had holed up inside a house in central Japan for hours after allegedly killing four people, including two police officers.

TBS television showed the man with his hands on his head walk out of the house and be ushered into a police vehicle. Police had obtained a court warrant Friday morning to formally arrest the man, NHK television said.

Police said they captured the suspect but did not release details before his formal arrest. NHK public television said one of two women who escaped while the suspect was holed up told police that the attacker was her son and that his father was chairman of the city assembly.

Police said earlier that two police officers were shot by the suspect when they arrived at the scene after receiving an emergency call saying a woman was stabbed in Nakano city in Nagano prefecture. Police did not comment on the report about the suspect’s identity.

A witness told NHK on Thursday that a woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers as they arrived at the scene in a patrol car.

The witness said he asked the suspect why he attacked her, and he replied that he wanted to kill her, NHK said.

The woman and the two police officers were pronounced dead at a hospital. Another woman who was injured and could not be rescued because she was near the suspect was found dead, NHK said.

During the standoff, TV footage showed police wearing bulletproof vests and carrying shields, with an ambulance nearby. Police sealed off a 300-metre (330-yard) radius around the house, and city officials urged people in the quiet farming neighbourhood to stay home.

Violent crimes are rare in Japan. It has strict gun control laws and only a handful of gun-related crimes annually. But in recent years, there have been some high-profile cases involving random knifings on subways and arson attacks, and there is growing concern about homemade guns and explosives.

Investigators check around the site of an incident in Nakano, Nagano prefecture, central Japan Friday morning, May 26. PHOTO: AP
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