In the central Nagano region of Japan, three people were slain on Thursday, including two police officers, according to local media.
According to a local police officer, authorities received a call late afternoon reporting that a “man stabbed a woman” in Nakano City. NHK public television was informed by witnesses at the site that the perpetrator chased the victim before stabbing her.
Before barricading himself inside a building when cops came, the man shot four victims with what seemed to be a hunting rifle.
According to the Kyodo News agency, he covered most of his face with a hat, mask, and sunglasses while donning camouflage clothing.
City officials urged residents in the neighborhood to stay inside.
The woman and three other victims were transferred to a local hospital, where they were subsequently confirmed dead, according to the police.
Shortly after the attack, two of the responding officers also passed away from their injuries.
Unknown was the state of the fourth victim of the shooting.
Other information, such as the suspect’s identity and intentions, was not immediately available.
With some of the tightest gun prohibitions in the world and thus some of the lowest rates of gun crimes, gun violence is very uncommon in Japan.
The death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot in July of last year while giving a campaign address in the western part of the country, recently shook the country.