Saitama Hostage Taker Suggests He Intended Suicide: Sources


Saitama, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)--A man arrested after an 11-hour fatal hostage standoff in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, this week has suggested that he intended to commit suicide after killing the doctor of his mother, who died a day before the incident, police sources said Saturday.

The Saitama prefectural police department sent the man, Hiroshi Watanabe, 66, to public prosecutors on the same day, after changing the charge against him from attempted murder to murder.

In the incident, the 44-year-old doctor, Junichi Suzuki, was shot in the chest and later confirmed dead. A 41-year-old physical therapist at Suzuki's clinic was seriously wounded.

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

According to the sources, Watanabe has told investigators that he was thinking to commit suicide, expecting nothing good after the mother's death, but also planning to kill the doctor and others, rather than dying alone.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press