Japan · Massacres/Mass Murder · School Violence

Man attacks elementary school students with knife, killing 8

June 8, 2001
Osaka, Japan
Mamoru Takuma (宅間 守) goes on a stabbing and slashing spree in an elementary school, killing 8 and injuring at least 15

Takuma had had a history of violence preceding the massacre, being arrested 11 times for various charges including rape, assault, and poisoning. Following a conviction in 1999, he was sent to a mental health facility and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Doctors believed that, while schizophrenic, Takuma was able to control his symptoms with medication and he was released. His erratic behaviors continued, including an assault on a bellboy and multiple evictions.

On June 8, 2001, Takuma entered the Ikeda Elementary School with an 11-inch kitchen knife. He began stabbing and slashing at the students who were between the ages of 6 and 8. Two children died at the scene with six more died of their injuries in the hospital. Sources vary on the number of victims wounded; somewhere between 15 and 21 were injured including 3 of the adults who helped to subdue Takuma.

After he was apprehended, Takuma stated he had “become disgusted with everything” and admitted to several failed attempts at suicide. He also said he wished for the death penalty. At trial, Takuma was removed from the courtroom repeatedly for insulting the victims’ families and remained unapologetic about the murders, going so far as to say he wished he had used gasoline in order to kill more children.

Takuma was found guilty of murder on August 28, 2003 and sentenced to death. He stated his desire to have a speedy execution, which was granted. He was hanged September 14, 2004.

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