Tokyo, Jun 15 (EFE) – The Japanese army recruit who shot three soldiers during live-fire training, killing two of them, was referred Thursday to the prosecutor’s office for attempted murder.
The incident took place Wednesday at the Hino indoor shooting range in Gifu, where the army was practicing when the 18-year-old recruit shot at his instructors while waiting for his turn, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
The young man fired four shots with an automatic rifle that hit three sergeants, his instructors. Two of them, aged 25 and 52, were killed and another, also 25, was seriously wounded.
The recruit had started his training in April at the Moriyama barracks, where all the victims belonged, and reportedly confessed to police investigators that he intentionally aimed for the senior instructor, shot twice. Authorities are investigating the motives behind the incident.
Aside from the ongoing police investigation, a separate investigation will be carried out by the military to clarify the causes of the incident and an investigation committee will be set up to determine whether drills were being conducted properly and to prevent recurrences, the military said.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Yasunori Morishita ordered a temporary halt to all shooting practice nationwide and a review of the safety measures in place at the relevant areas.
Some 70 recruits and about 50 members of the army as instructors took part in the target practice at the Hino facility, conducted while wearing steel helmets but not bulletproof vests. EFE