Reports: 3 dead in central Japan attacks; police are looking for a masked man with a rifle and a knife

Three people, including two policemen, have been killed in Nagano, central Japan, and a suspect is locked inside a building with a rifle and a knife.

Japanese shooting

Police officers stand guard on a street leading to a building where a man is being locked up in Nakano, central Japan, Thursday, May 25, 2023. A masked man holding a rifle and a knife was cornered in a building in Nagano on Thursday. A city in Nagano Prefecture. Several people were injured, one of them later died, the police said. (Kyodo News via AP)

The Associated Press

TOKYO — Three people, including two police officers, were killed in the central Japanese city of Nagano on Thursday and a suspect was locked inside a building with a rifle and a knife, police and media reports said.

A witness told public broadcaster NHK that a woman fell as the suspect chased her, then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers who arrived at the scene in Nakano city, Nagano prefecture.

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According to the police, all three were taken to a nearby hospital, where the woman later died. According to NHK, the two police officers also died later. Kyodo news agency reported that the fourth injured person could not be rescued because he was close to the suspect’s hiding place.

NHK television footage showed police in uniform, wearing bulletproof vests and wearing shields, with an ambulance nearby.

Police said the suspect was a man wearing camouflage clothing, a hat, mask and sunglasses, Kyodo News reported. City officials urged residents in the area to stay at home.

Further details, such as the suspect and his motives, are not immediately known.