Suspect, 18, arrested after shooting at Japan army firing range leaves 2 dead & 1 injured

Two died of their injuries.

Yen Zhi Yi | June 14, 2023, 04:09 PM

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An 18-year-old male trainee from Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) has been arrested for suspected murder, after a shooting at a firing range in Gifu City left two dead and one seriously injured.

The incident happened at approximately 9am during a live-firing exercise at the Hino Basic Shooting Range, according to local media NHK World.

The facility is used by members of GSDF’s 10th Division for automatic rifle and gun practice, and is located around five kilometres away from Gifu’s main train station.

Shot three people

The suspect was detained at the scene after he opened fire at three SDF personnel, according to NHK.

According to local police and firefighters, the two deceased, aged 25 and 52, as well as the third injured member, 25, were conveyed to the hospital after being shot, Kyodo News reported.

The suspect has admitted to opening fire, said the police.

GSDF's Chief of Staff General Yasunori Morishita told media that the man enrolled in April 2023, while the victims were all instructors, according to Reuters.

He added that the police and the armed forces will conduction an inquiry and investigation respectively so as to prevent future incidents.

No civilians injured

A 73-year-old witness who lived nearby said that fire trucks and ambulances arrived at the scene at approximately 9:30am, while police officers entered the facility, according to Kyodo News.

He added that he knew “something terrible had happened” and caught sight of a SDF member emerging from the building while looking shocked.

No civilian casualties were reported.

Recent spate of violence

Although Japan is well-known for its safety, high-profile shooting and stabbing cases have happened in recent years, according to the Associated Press.

In July 2022, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot while speaking at an event and died after.

In April 2023, current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was evacuated after a suspected smoke bomb was thrown at him during an election campaign.

A month later, a man was arrested for allegedly causing the death of two women and two policemen in Nagano prefecture.

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Top image via Getty - Jiji Press/AFP & Google Maps