The 41-year-old man, who reportedly shouted “Die!” as he set the fire, confessed his motive to police, the Kyodo News reported on Friday, citing investigative sources. He poured gasoline around the building from a bucket and was also carrying a backpack full of knives. He is believed to have started the fire at the front door to prevent escape, and the combination of the gasoline, poor ventilation, and abundance of paper in the building contributed to the fire’s rapid spread. The suspect was injured in the inferno and arrested at the scene.
Violent crime is extremely unusual in Japan, and the Kyoto Animation arson is the worst mass murder in the country in at least 18 years. PM Shinzo Abe tweeted his condolences, calling the attack “too awful for words” and praying for the survivors’ speedy recovery. Anime fans have come together to help the studio, which is behind popular titles like K-ON! and Lucky Star. Sentai Filmworks, which has licensed several Kyoto productions for Blu-ray and other products, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the studio rebuild.
A popular animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan has gone up in flames after a reported arson attack, leaving a shocking 33 people confirmed or presumed dead, and another 36 injured - some critically - according to Japanese fire department statements. It's Japan's worst case of arson in decades and among the highest mass casualty events in its recent history.
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