Witnesses say man was silent during attack in downtown Osaka

OSAKA - Kyozo Isohi, who was arrested Sunday at the scene where two people were stabbed on a busy street in downtown Osaka, repeatedly attacked one of the victims as he begged for help, a witness said.

Isohi allegedly stabbed two people - Shingo Minamino, 42, from Tokyo, and Toshi Sasaki, 66 to death in Osaka's busy shopping district in Chuo Ward, commonly known as "Minami," on Sunday afternoon. Isohi was quoted by the police as saying, "I attacked them because I thought I would be executed if I killed someone."

Isohi, 36, allegedly stabbed Minamino before attacking Sasaki, who was trying to escape. After stabbing Sasaki, Isohi returned to Minamino, who was already critically injured, and stabbed him again in silence, witnesses said.

A 32-year-old man who works in Chuo Ward, Osaka, said while he was waiting for a friend, he heard someone screaming, "Help me!" many times. When he looked around, he saw someone to the west lying on the street about 30 meters away, underneath Isohi, who was wielding a kitchen knife.

Isohi held the knife above his head and repeatedly stabbed downward, the man said. Isohi reportedly bought the knife at a nearby Daimaru department store in Shinsaibashi about one hour before his random attack began.

The victim lying on the street was Minamino. Many shoppers in the busy street screamed out, according to the man.

He said, "(Isohi) seemed to have stabbed the victim 20 to 30 times as if he got caught up in the act." While the man was stunned at the sudden incident, he saw Isohi was moving toward him as if searching for a new target. The man, who fled to the east, saw Sasaki on a bicycle going the opposite direction.

He shouted at Sasaki, warning her to turn around, "No! A killer is over there. Run away!" However, Sasaki, who apparently did not understand the situation, had a puzzled expression on her face as she passed him. When the man looked back, Sasaki was trying to turn her bicycle around, he said.

The man said Isohi began attacking Sasaki, repeatedly stabbing her back and side while she was still on the bicycle. This happened about 40 meters east from where Minamino was stabbed.

A male company employee, 54, who was on the fifth floor of a nearby building, heard a woman screaming. When he looked down the street, he saw Isohi swinging down with a knife several times while above a woman who was lying on the ground. The man said Isohi left Sasaki, but returned soon after and stabbed her again near her head.

Witnesses said Isohi continued his brutal rampage, running back to Minamino, who was lying in a pool of blood while groaning in pain, and started stabbing him again.

A male shop clerk, 45, at a nearby jewelry store, said Isohi's hands were covered with blood. Police officers rushed to Isohi and seized him, arresting him at 1:05 p.m. The man said it all happened in a short time.

The shop clerk said in a nervous voice: "(Isohi did not resist the police at all. He looked vacant as he put his hands on the ground. I was really scared (by Isohi), who was silent the whole time."

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