19 dead after stabbing rampage at Japanese care center

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At least 19 people have been killed in the Japanese city of Sagamihara after a former employee went on a stabbing spree inside a facility for people with disabilities, officials say. More than 20 others have been injured.

The attack began at about 2:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday when a man armed with several knives broke into the Tsukui Yamayuri-en care center in Sagamihara, which is southwest of Tokyo. The man attacked at least 39 people before fleeing, leaving behind bloodied knives.

Local police initially reported that 15 people had been killed, but 4 people who were gravely injured were later pronounced dead, raising the death toll to at least 19. Another 26 people have been injured, including 20 who sustained serious injuries.

The suspect – identified as 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu – walked into a nearby police station just after 3 a.m., confessing to officers that he was responsible for the murders. “It’s better that the disabled disappear,” he later told investigators, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Local authorities said the suspect previously worked at the facility but it is unknown if he quit his job or had been fired. The Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility, which cares for people with an intellectual disability, was home to about 150 long-term residents between the ages of 18 and 75.

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