Saitama shooter often bullied medical staff over mum’s care
FUJIMINO, Saitama Prefecture — A gunman demanded that nursing providers come to his home the same day he shot and killed a doctor who was unable to resuscitate his dead mother, sources said.
The nursing ward operator has declined insistent demands from Hiroshi Watanabe, 66, who should be charged with murder for the death of Junichi Suzuki, a 44-year-old doctor who visited the home with six other people in his clinical. in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture on January 27.
Watanabe reportedly summoned medical staff from the clinic to his home following the death of his 92-year-old mother.
The nursing operator told the Asahi Shimbun that Watanabe’s mother received his services a few years ago.
The operator said it received a call on January 27 from Watanabe, who politely requested that workers visit his home.
“I want to apologize to you because I still haven’t paid the money I owe you,” Watanabe said. “My mum passed away yesterday, so please come to my house to collect the money.”
The worker who received the call told Watanabe that the company would send an invoice to his home instead. His tone then became harsher.
“Pay homage to my mother,” he said, raising his voice.
Watanabe had also bullied other medical workers over his mother’s treatment.
A Fujimino doctor said Watanabe complained about his mother’s treatment policy around 2016.
“If you want to reply, do so,” the doctor quoted Watanabe as saying at the time. “You are a negative doctor.”
The doctor recalls not challenging Watanabe just to avoid involvement with him.
“Everyone gets frail as they get older, but he seemed firmly convinced his mother wouldn’t,” the doctor said.
The hospital where the doctor worked received an angry letter from Watanabe that said in part, “You should seriously think about yourself.
Watanabe then turned to Suzuki for his mother’s medical care.
MOTHER AT THE CENTER OF HER LIFE
In late 2018, at Suzuki’s request, the nursing care operator began caring for the mother.
When Watanabe moved into the house he rented in Fujimino about three years ago, his mother was almost bedridden.
Watanabe called the operator almost every day, regardless of the hour. He asked the staff to do something to “enable him to walk” and other things. Some of the calls lasted over an hour and he sometimes asked specific staff members to attend to his mother, the sources said.
The operator stopped treating the mother after a few months out of concern for the safety of staff.
Suzuki was shot and killed in the home after refusing Watanabe’s request to resuscitate his dead mother with cardiac massage, investigators said.
A physiotherapist at the clinic was also shot and seriously injured. At least one other clinic worker was injured after Watanabe sprayed them with tear gas.
According to neighbors, Watanabe rarely socialized with other members of the community.
An acquaintance in his 40s described Watanabe as a devoted son.
“His mother was the center of his life,” the man said. “Watanabe seemed to think that taking care of herself was her purpose in life.”
When he visited Watanabe’s house, he was told to use antisepsis to avoid harming the mother.
Before moving to Fujimino, Watanabe lived with his mother in public housing in Tokyo’s Edogawa district in the late 1990s, according to a person who knows him.
His two shotguns were allegedly loaded prior to the visit by clinic staff, according to investigative sources.
One of the shotguns was purchased when Watanabe lived in the Edogawa district. The salesman who sold the gun said Watanabe had paid a deposit but still owed money for the gun.
(This story was compiled from reports by Nobufumi Yamada, Shuichi Nimura, Tomoki Morishita, and Ko Sendo.)