Doctor killed in a hostage crisis in Saitama: Police take 11 hours

Doctor killed in a hostage crisis in Saitama: Police take 11 hours

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese police waited nearly 11 hours before finally entering the home of an elderly hostage-taker. Hiroshi Watanabe, 66 years old, was angry about the treatment of his elderly mother who died. Therefore, after three workers entered his home at 9 pm from the clinic responsible for the care of his deceased mother, he set about cold-blooded retribution.

Astonishingly, despite one injured escapee informing that his two colleagues had been shot at 9.15 pm, the police didn’t enter until approximately 8 am in the morning.

Hence, if the police knew that two people had been shot and were either dead – or in need of emergency help – then why wait so long?

The incident took place in the environs of Fujimino, Saitama. This part of Saitama is relatively quiet and major police incidents are rare.

Watanabe, who killed the respected doctor Junichi Suzuki (aged 44), said, “I am angry with them over their care.” This concerns his mother who passed away.

Apart from shooting Suzuki dead the killer also shot a physical therapist and injured another co-worker who managed to escape. The escaped individual notified the police at the local station in Higashi-Iruma. However, despite knowing that two people had been shot, it would take roughly 11 hours before entering the home of Watanabe.

Lee Jay Walker says, “It appears that the three health care workers had visited the home of Watanabe concerning the need to pay respect after the death of Watanabe’s mother. However, Watanabe had the intent to murder for he immediately shot two people and held them hostage despite Suzuki needing emergency help.”

Suzuki was sometimes seen on television because he took extra time out to care for patients suffering at home from Covid-19 (coronavirus). He treated patients in Fujimi, Fujimino, and the area of Miyoshi.

However, in Suzuki’s hour of need, the police and others involved in the hostage crisis merely waited hour after hour. This was despite the police knowing that two people had been shot.

This begs the question, “Why did it take so long to enter the home of Watanabe given all the information the police had?”

Suzuki will be remembered for his dedication.

It is hoped that the other health care worker will survive his injuries.


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