The suspect in Sunday's stabbing rampage in central Tokyo posted a series of online messages on his cell phone about his plan, according to authorities.
The 25-year-old suspect, Tomohiro Kato, rented a 2-ton truck from near his home in Shizuoka prefecture, 120 miles west of Tokyo. Kato, a temporary employee at an auto factory, gave a blow-by-blow description of his plan before and during his almost four-hour ride to Tokyo.
5:21AM Subject: I will kill people in Akihabara. "I will drive into a crowd of people. I will use a knife if the truck becomes unusable."
07:30AM Subject: It is raining hard. "My plans should be perfect."
10:53AM Subject: It is bumper to bumper traffic. "I hope this does not disrupt my plan."
11:45AM: Subject: I have reached Akihabara. "It looks like the streets are open to pedestrians today."
Kato posted his final messages 20 minutes before the killing, investigators said.
00:10PM Subject: The time has come.
Soon after he posted the message, Kato drove into a crowded street in Akihabara -- a neighborhood known as Tokyo's "electric town," as it's packed with stores that sell electric appliances, computers, games and videos. The major street in the area is usually blocked off for pedestrians on Sundays, and police believe that is why Akihabara became Kato's choice as a killing field.
After he ran over a few pedestrians in the truck, Kato got out of the vehicle, took a survival knife and started to stab people. A few witnesses told Japanese TV stations that Kato shouted, grunted and lifted his arms wide open like airplane wings as he ran toward people with a knife in hand. There was a report that Kato hid a second knife in his pocket, and police found a few more knives in his truck.
Seven people died and 10 people were injured. One of the injured was a traffic police officer who was helping the pedestrians run over by Kato's truck. Kato stabbed the officer from behind and walked away to stab more people.
A Japanese TV station showed the image of Kato right before his capture as he pointed his knife at a police officer. The officer reportedly told Kato that he would shoot him if he did not surrender, so Kato ended his killing spree. Everything happened in less than 10 minutes.
After he was taken to a nearby police station, Kato allegedly told police he was simply "tired of life," he just wanted to kill people and he did not care who he killed.
"I just wish everything was a dream. I just cannot comprehend what exactly happened," said the father of slain 19-year-old college student Takahiro Kawaguchi as he spoke to TV reporters at his house. "I don't know what ticked him off, but he just took his anger out on my son. This is unforgivable."
Many Japanese visited the crime site Monday, offering flowers to the victims. "I could have been there," one man told reporters. "I was in Akihabara yesterday at the time the stabbing took place. I was only a few blocks away," said the man in tears. "That really could have been me. I cannot just be happy that I am here. I feel awful for those innocent victims."