Original story: 7/25/16
Satoshi Uematsu, 26 year old former employee of the Tsukui Yamayuri-En facility for the mentally and physically disabled, killed 19 people as they slept and wounded another 25 in the attack on the facility. Uematsu wrote a letter to a government official of his desire to kill disabled people. He was committed to a psychiatric facility but discharged within weeks. Source: Kyodo News: 19 killed in stabbing rampage at care facility in Japan, man nabbed
Update: 7/27/16: Mental hospital stay
Uematsu was institutionalized for only 12 days when doctors deemed it safe for him to be released. He returned home although his parents moved. This violated the terms of his release. Source: NY Daily News: Japan killer was released from mental hospital before stabbing
Update: 9/06/16: Another arrest warrant issued
The Kanagawa Prefectural Police served a fresh arrest warrant on Monday to a man for allegedly murdering nine of the 19 people killed in a stabbing rampage at a care home for people with intellectual disabilities in July.
According to police sources, the suspect, Satoshi Uematsu, 26, a former worker at the care facility, Tsukui Yamayuri En, in Sagamihara has admitted the charges.
It was the third time for Uematsu, already under police custody, to be served with an arrest warrant over the high-profile mass murder.
The latest warrant was issued to Uematsu on suspicion of killing nine men, aged between 41 and 67, at around 2:30 a.m. on July 26 by stabbing or slashing their throats with a knife.
Due to Uematsu’s abnormal statements over his alleged crimes during police questioning and because he has tested positive for cannabis, the Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office is expected to seek a psychiatric evaluation before indicting the suspect.
According to investigative sources, Uematsu continues to make remarks disparaging the dignity of people with disabilities.
Because Uematsu is aware he stands accused of punishable crimes, investigators believe he is mentally competent to be held criminally liable, the sources said. Source: The Japan Times: Man accused of slaying 19 at Sagamihara care home served another arrest warrant
Update: 11/04/16: Father struggles with daughter’s death
Every morning, the father of a woman killed in the mass slaying at a home for disabled people here makes coffee for her, offering it at the family Buddhist altar at his house. One hundred days after the killings, the father struggles to let the painful reality sink in. The father granted an interview to The Asahi Shimbun on the condition his and his daughter’s name not be used.
She tried to communicate by uttering short words such as “strawberry” and “coffee.” She called her father “Chichi.” When the father called her name, she sometimes ran around in joy. “The daughter, innocent, was the idol of the entire family,” the father recalled.
The father visited the home once a month to see his daughter. He rushed to the facility with his son and his daughter-in-law immediately after TV stations reported the mass slayings that morning.
The father was able to be reunited with her body around 8 p.m. that day. The last time he visited his daughter was three weeks before her death. He suspects that the deadly rampage could have been prevented if authorities had taken sufficient precautions. “I believe authorities might have taken countermeasures if information on him had been fully conveyed,” the father said. Source: The Asahi Shimbun: Father struggles with daughter’s death in slayings in Sagamihara
Update: 11/25/16: Facility failed to share information
A care home where a former employee murdered 19 residents and wounded 27 others in July failed to share information about him or take his threats seriously before the massacre, an independent panel said in a report released Friday.
The panel, set up by the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, said Tsukui Yamayuri En, a facility for people with mental disabilities situated in Sagamihara, acted “extremely inappropriately” by failing to share knowledge that may have affected the fates of its residents. The report did not go into detail about the responses of the prefectural government or the police, or discuss whether there was appropriate collaboration.
Receiving the report, Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa said, “We want to do all we can so that a similar incident will never happen again.” The governor added that he wants to revise the prefecture’s guidelines so that care facilities will report information about threats to their security managers.
According to the report, police told the facility to bolster security by assigning a larger number of employees at night after Satoshi Uematsu, 26, delivered a letter in February to the speaker of the House of Representatives warning that he intended to cause harm at the facility.
After Uematsu was released from a mental hospital in March, police told the care facility he had discussed committing mass murder of disabled people and might come to the facility. The facility bolstered its night shift but failed to report the matter to the prefectural government or impress upon its employees the seriousness of the situation, the report said. “If the facility had reported to the prefecture, security equipment or security personnel could have been bolstered. There was a problem in its crisis management,” the report said.
To prevent a recurrence, the panel suggested care facilities designate a person to take charge of crisis management and share information with the prefectural government or police.
Uematsu allegedly attacked the facility’s residents with a knife in the early hours of July 26 after breaking a window to enter the ground floor. He had worked at the facility from December 2012 to February this year, but quit after making outbursts about euthanizing disabled people. Source: The Japan Times: Sagamihara care facility failed to share info before massacre