Suspect In Deadly Japan Arson Said Studio Plagiarized His Work

A 41-year-old man arrested on suspicion of Japan’s worst mass killing in nearly 20 years told police that the Kyoto Animation studio had plagiarized his work, according to CNN.

Police identified the man as Shinji Aoba during a Friday press conference, however Kyoto Fushimi Police spokesperson Ryoji Nishiyama said that they had not yet established a link with the studio in Kyoto’s Fushimi-ku district. 

34 people were killed after the suspect began pouring gasoline on the first floor of the studio before setting it on fire, shouting “You die” as he spilled the liquid, according to a witness. 

The three-story building quickly became engulfed in flames, killing 20 men, 20 women and another individual of ‘unknown gender.’ 35 people were injured in the blaze. 

After dousing flames, firefighters entered the building and found 20 bodies lying on the staircase leading to the roof exit. Another team found 11 bodies on the second floor of the building and two on the ground floor.

Police said that 74 people were inside the building at the time of the blaze.

The fire spread so rapidly that many inside did not have time to escape, Kyoto Prefectural police told CNN. Several people jumped out of the second and third floor windows and suffered bone fractures. –CNN

Aoba was arrested and is currently heavily sedated as physicians treat him for severe burns sustained during the attack. Police added that he has unspecified mental health issues. 

As CNN notes, the arson marks Japan’s deadlies mass murder since a 2001 arson attack on a building in Tokyo’s Kabukicho district which killed 44 people. 

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