A man has gone on a bloody rampage at a Mazda automobile factory, running over and injuring or killing 11 people in an attack he claims was based on the notorious massacre conducted by a disgruntled otaku on the streets of Akihabara.
The 42-year-old man formerly worked at the Hiroshima main plant of auto maker Matsuda (Mazda globally), where the attack took place.
The attack began around 8:00AM as the day and night shifts were changing places, with the suspect using his Mazda Familia to run down a number of Mazda employees, leaving its bonnet dented and its windscreen shattered.
Far from satisfied, he drove on to another site and ran down several more people, with the final toll standing at 11 hit, with one fatality and two victims left in serious condition.
The attack lasted only 8 minutes and during it he covered a distance of 7.5km.
He drove away from the scene at high speed, and hours later summoned police to his location, where he was arrested on charges of attempted murder.
Police found an 18cm kitchen knife in his car, which he had apparently planned to use in the massacre.
He claims he was angry at being fired, but Mazda reports he left the company voluntarily several months before for personal reasons. Acquaintances describe him as a solitary and unfriendly individual who held a great liking for cars.
Police are still investigating his motivations for the attack, but report that he filed personal bankruptcy in 2008 after becoming heavily indebted, and that his acute economic privations since then may have contributed to a mental breakdown.
“I had a grudge against Mazda. I was thinking of messing up the place with a knife like the Akihabara massacre.”
He was disarmingly frank about the circumstances surrounding the attack, saying “I ran them down with the intent of killing them” and “I’m a loser.”