A 31-year-old man has been detained by police in central Japan in connection with the shooting and stabbing attack that resulted in the deaths of four persons, including two police officers.

Aoki Masanori, the son of Nakano City assembly speaker Aoki Masamichi, has been named by police as the suspect. The head of the Nagano prefectural police said at a televised press conference that the suspect had taken refuge in his home after shooting two police officers who had come at the scene in response to a report that a lady had been stabbed. He claimed that he shot with what seemed to be a hunting rifle.

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On Thursday, at about 4:30 p.m., police received a report that a man had stabbed a woman. The suspect fired at the officers as they arrived at the scene with what looked like a hunting rifle. Two police officers and the woman passed away. A second woman who was later discovered dead at the scene, lying on the ground, was identified.

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According to Iwao Koyama, the police chief, the two police officers and the woman were carried to the hospital and proclaimed dead within hours. The citizens of the prefecture and society at large are quite afraid as a result of this horrific crime, he added.

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Koyama Iwao, the chief of the Nagano Prefectural Police, described it as a “extremely vicious crime” during a press conference. He claimed the subject has confessed but provided no other information.

Aoki allegedly told police that he committed the knife assault because he believed he was being disparaged and that he shot the policemen out of fear that they could shoot him, according to sources for the investigation.

In Japan, where gun ownership is strictly controlled and prospective gun owners must undergo a thorough screening process, shootings are incredibly uncommon. According to a second briefing from the National Public Safety Commission’s chief, the suspect held a hunting rifle license.