A 26-year-old Japanese man went on a stabbing rampage on Tuesday morning at Tsukui Yamayuri-en, a facility for the disabled, leaving 19 individuals dead and 26 wounded, the Associated Press reports. This was one of the deadliest mass killings in Japan since World War II.
This attack came just months after the man, Satoshi Uematsu, reportedly sent a letter to Parliament outlining his plans for this bloody attack and stating that he believed all disabled individuals should be euthanized.
According to the AP, Uematsu stated in the letter that he planned on murdering 470 disabled people in what he deemed a "revolution." He further stated that he would turn himself in after the attack had taken place. He wrote that he wanted to be judged innocent due to insanity, and be given 5 million yen and plastic surgery afterward so he could continue living a normal life.
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Uematsu was a former employee of Tsukui Yamayuri-en, working at the facility from 2012 until February of this year, CNN reports. Although his letter included all of Uematsu’s personal information and was delivered prior to his last day of work at the facility, it's unclear if it affected his employment. Instead, neighbors say Uematsu was in trouble because he had a tattoo, which is frowned upon in Japan.
According to CNN, the facility employs over 200 people, but only nine employees, including a single security guard, were actually working when Uematsu carried out the attack. He likely knew that there would only be a small of number of staff present when he broke into the facility at 2 a.m. Uematsu turned himself in to the Sagamihara police station immediately after, carrying the knife he used to commit the murders.
Those who knew Uematsu were shocked, describing him as polite and seemingly normal, according to the AP. Akihiro Hasegawa, Uematsu’s neighbor, called him an "ordinary young fellow."
Kanagawa Governor Yuji Kuroiwa released an apology for failing to act on Uematsu's clear mental illness, even after Parliament received his warning letter.