Saitama hostage taker suggests he intended to kill himself: sources

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Saitama, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press) — A man arrested this week after a deadly 11-hour hostage situation in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, has hinted he intended to kill himself after killing his mother’s doctor, who died a day before the incident, police sources said on Saturday.

The Saitama Prefectural Police Department referred the man, Hiroshi Watanabe, 66, to prosecutors the same day after changing the charge against him from attempted murder to murder.

During the incident, 44-year-old doctor Junichi Suzuki was shot in the chest and later confirmed dead. A 41-year-old physiotherapist at Suzuki’s clinic was seriously injured.

Watanabe’s 92-year-old mother had been using the clinic’s home care service until she died of illness on Wednesday. On Thursday evening, the doctor and six other clinic staff visited the suspect’s home at his request.

According to the sources, Watanabe told investigators he was contemplating suicide, expecting nothing good after the mother’s death, but also planning to kill the doctor and others, rather than die alone.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press

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