The two victims of a knife-wielding man’s were identified as an 11-year-old girl and a Foreign Ministry official who was accompanying his daughter to a bus stop, officials said Tuesday.
Clutching two knives, the 51-year-old attacker went on a rampage while a group of girls between the ages of 6 and 12 were waiting at a bus stop about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday near Noborito Park in the city of Kawasaki outside Tokyo.
The man — identified by police as Ryuichi Iwasaki, a resident of Kawasaki — also wounded at least 17 before fatally stabbing himself in the neck while fleeing, officials said.
Local media said he was carrying two more knives in his knapsack. His motive was not immediately known.
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Hanako Kuribayashi, a sixth-grader at the private Catholic school Caritas Gakuen, and Satoshi Oyama, 39, were killed in the bloodbath, authorities said.
Oyama, whose child was not injured, was also stabbed in the back and shoulders, suggesting he may have been defending some of the girls, , citing police sources.
School director Tetsuro Saito told reporters that “my heart is broken with pain when I think of the innocent children and their parents who send their children to our school with love who were victimized by this savage act. I’m struggling to fight back my anger.”
Principal Sadako Naito remembered Hanako, the girl who was killed.
“I can’t believe it,” she said, choking with emotion, according to the Washington Post. “I thought I would hear her cheerful voice again.”