Crime & Justice

Police: Tokyo train attacker dressed as Joker wanted to ‘kill many people’

Tokyo, Nov 2 (EFE).- A man who injured 17 people in a knife attack and caused a fire inside a train last weekend in Tokyo while he was disguised as fictional character the Joker said he wanted to kill “many people,” according to the Police said Tuesday.

The suspect and confessed perpetrator of the incident, a 24-year-old man identified as Kyota Hattori, began planning months ago the attack he perpetrated on a Tokyo railway line on Halloween night, coinciding with the holding of general elections in Japan.

Hattori said he committed his attack on Halloween night because there would be a lot of people in the public transport because of the occasion, and he was walking through the busy district of Shibuya before boarding the train to Shinjuku station – one of the busiest in Tokyo, according to police.

The suspect, who had moved to Tokyo a month ago and was unemployed, began to think about perpetrating a crime “in which he could kill many people” in June with the aim of being arrested and sentenced to death, he allegedly told officials.

Hattori confessed to being the perpetrator of the stabbings and the fire on the train after being stopped without resisting after the attack, and said he decided to dress up for the occasion as the Joker, one of the villains of the Batman franchise, because he admires the character.

One of the 17 injured in the incident, a 72-year-old man, remains in serious condition after receiving multiple stab wounds to the chest from the suspect, who also set fire to a flammable liquid inside the wagon, according to police. Most of the other victims were from smoke inhalation.

The incident sparked panic scenes with passengers fleeing the attacker and the fire inside the train, with some of them trying to escape through the car windows onto the platform, as seen in recordings filmed by witnesses and posted on social media.

The Transport Ministry announced Tuesday that it is analyzing preventive measures to avoid similar events, after the subway and suburban network of the Japanese metropolis was the scene of similar incidents in previous months.

In early August, a man wounded 10 people in another knife attack on the Odakyu railway line, an incident that would have inspired Hattori, the suspect told police.

In mid-August two men were stabbed at Ueno station in an apparent random attack, and two other people were injured after a man sprayed acid on the face of an old acquaintance, also in the capital. EFE


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