Tokyo — Three people, including two police officers, were killed in a shooting and stabbing incident in Japan’s central Nagano region on Thursday, according to public broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media.
Earlier, police said a masked man with a rifle and knife barricaded at least four people in a building in Nagano.
A pedestrian reported a commotion in Nakano City, central Nagano Prefecture, and police rushed to the scene.
Witnesses told NHK public television that the woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who stabbed her with a knife and opened fire on two police officers who arrived at the scene.
Police said three of the victims, including a woman, were taken to nearby hospitals where they were later pronounced dead.
Police said the suspect was a man wearing camouflage, a hat, a mask and sunglasses, according to Kyodo News. City officials have asked people in the area to stay at home.
Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the world. In 2019, there were more than four firearm homicides per 100,000 people in the United States. compared to Almost zero in Japan.
CBS News Senior Foreign Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported last yearJapan’s strict laws on private gun ownership surprisingly have their origins in the United States. After World War II, when the United States occupied Japan, Japan was disarmed. The Americans enacted laws that nearly stripped firearms from the hands of Japanese civilians.
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