Joker knifeman who went on a rampage in Tokyo metro injuring 17 passengers who thought it was a Halloween stunt told police how he ‘adored’ the Batman villain and chose a busy train for attack after ‘failing at work and falling out with friends’

  • Man wielding knife stabbed 10 passengers on train near Kokuryo station, Tokyo
  • One man was seriously injured and people were climbing out windows to escape
  • Kyota Hattori, 24, did not resist arrest and was wearing character costume 

A knifeman who was dressed as the Joker when he went on a Halloween rampage and injured 17 people onboard a Tokyo commuter train has told police he ‘adores’ the Batman villain.

Kyota Hattori, 24, reportedly stabbed 10 people and poured what is believed to have been oil around the train carriage before setting it on fire, causing panic among passengers who had initially thought it was a Halloween stunt.

It was also reported hydrochloric acid was thrown during the attack, which occurred on the Keio express line bound for Shinjuku, the world’s busiest rail station.

Hattori told police that he had chosen the crowded train for the knife and arson attack where ‘people couldn’t run away’, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.  

Hattori, who was seen sitting on the train after the attack in a Joker outfit smoking a cigarette and reportedly holding a knife, told detectives he was failing at work and he had troubled relationships with friends.      

The Tokyo Fire Department said in all 17 passengers were injured, including three seriously, in the Halloween attack.

Not all of them were stabbed and most of the injuries were not serious, officials added. Hattori later told police he regrets not having been able to kill people as he had planned. 

A 72-year-old man from Tokyo was unconscious and in critical condition after being stabbed in the chest with an 11-inch-long knife, according to media. 

The attacker was arrested on the spot and is now being investigated on suspicion of attempted murder. 

His motive was not immediately known but Kyodo reported that the suspect had told investigators he ‘wanted to kill people and be given the death penalty’, and that he’d had a desire for the death penalty since around June. He also told them he had spread lighter fluid in the train. 

Nippon Television reported that the suspect told police he used an earlier train stabbing case as an example. 

Kyota Hattori, 24, was seen smoking a cigarette and reportedly holding a knife in his right hand after the attack on the train

Footage has emerged on social media of the attacker dressed as the joker (pictured)  being arrested

Many passengers escaped through train windows (pictured) after the doors failed to open immediately when it stopped

Rescue workers (pictured) at the scene in Japan after a man dressed as the joker stabbed passengers

Police escort rescue staff (pictured) through the station

Firefighters leave the station (pictured) after a man dressed as the joker set fire to a train carriage in the wake of stabbing 10 people 

Pictured: Smoke could be seen billowing from one of the carriages where it a fire was started

NHK said witnesses told police that the attacker was wearing a bright outfit – a green shirt, a blue suit and a purple coat which resembled that of the Joker from the Batman comics.

Tokyo police officials said the attack happened inside the Keio train near the Kokuryo station.

The attacker carried out the act without showing any emotion, a female passenger said.

‘He held a knife and started spreading liquid,’ she said.

‘He was committing this act without showing any emotion, just mechanically. I think that brought fear to everyone.’ 

Television footage showed a number of firefighters, police officials and paramedics rescuing the passengers, many of whom escaped through train windows.

In one video, passengers were running from another car, where flames were gushing.    

Fire crews and police are seen gathered outside the station 

A police official claimed Hattori sprayed acid into the eyes of a 72-year-old male passenger before stabbing him in the chest with a knife, reports Japan News. The knife reportedly pierced the man’s lung and he is currently in critical condition. 

Afterwards, Hattori allegedly moved to another carriage where he spread the lighter fluid and seats alight, causing many to suffer minor injuries – mainly from smoke inhalation.    

NHK also said the suspect, after stabbing passengers, poured a liquid resembling oil and set fire, which partially burned seats. 

Shunsuke Kimura, who filmed the video, told NHK that he saw passengers desperately running and while he was trying to figure out what happened, he heard an explosive noise and saw smoke wafting.

He also jumped from a window but fell on the platform and hurt his shoulder.

‘Train doors were closed and we had no idea what was happening, and we jumped from the windows,’ Kimura said. ‘It was horrifying.’

Hattori told police that he had chosen an express train to carry out the attack as it runs for a longer amount of times between stops, reports Japan Times. 

‘I messed up at work around June and wasn’t getting along with friends,’ Hattori told the police. ‘I wanted to die. I thought that if I killed two or more people, I would get the death penalty. It didn’t matter who they were.’ 

The suspect also said he had been inspired by a recent knife attack where a 36-year-old man stabbed 10 passengers on a Odakyu Electric Railway commuter train on the day before the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony in August.  

Hattori reportedly told police he used lighter fluid in his attack because the cooking oil used in the Odakyu attack did not ignite. 

‘Looking at the Odakyu Line train case in August, I targeted an express train which would have more passengers and used cigarette lighter fluid,’ Hattori told police, reports Japan News. 

‘I noticed that cooking oil doesn’t burn well, so I used lighter fluid that I put in a 2-liter plastic bottle,’ he said, adding that after the fire started, he tried to make it more fierce by spraying the flame with an aerosol can.  

Firefighters explain the situation at Kokuryo Station on the Keio Line in the city of Chofu

An injured person (pictured) is carried from the scene by rescuers 

The scene at the Tokyo train station from the air (pictured)

One video uploaded on Twitter showed a steady stream of people running away from a train car where, seconds later, a blaze lit up.

Another video showed passengers rushing to squeeze out of the train’s windows and onto the platform where the train had made an emergency stop at Kokuryo Station, western Tokyo. 

Passengers were seen climbing out of the windows because the doors had failed to immediately open when the train stopped, as they could be heard screaming with one person shouting ‘Run away!’

Firefighters were able to put out the fire after 30 minutes and police officers were seen entering the train car where the suspect was seated smoking a cigarette. He reportedly did not resist arrest.   

‘I thought it was a Halloween stunt,’ one witness told the Yomiuri newspaper, recalling the moment he saw other passengers running in a panic towards his train car.

‘Then, I saw a man walking this way, slowly waving a long knife.’

The witness, who had been yards away from Hattori said he initially thought the knife was covered with fake blood as a ‘Halloween prank’, before realising it was real.  

Firefighters (pictured) were seen at the station to put out the fire which spread through the carriage

Emergency services gather outside the station to help the injured 

Firefighters were seen outside the station after the mass stabbing in Tokyo

One passenger, a 72-year-old man, lost consciousness after being stabbed, according to Kyodo News. 

A male passenger said: ‘I heard a loud bang and saw flames and smoke in the back. Everyone was panicking,’ 

The incident was posted on social media by witnesses and footage on the television showed firefighters, police officials and paramedics rescuing passengers. 

Police later found a knife, several plastic bottles which may have contained the lighter fluid and an aerosol can in a train carriage.

Police and firefighters (pictured) at the scene

An aerial shot shows a  huge amount of emergency services in the area

Employees walk from the station after the incident and a police officer is seen standing nearby

Police officers walk into the station after the attack which saw passengers escape from train windows

A view of the station after the knife, acid and arson attack in Japan

Officers at a cordon tape in the station following the arrest of the attacker

Many passengers escaped through train windows after the doors failed to open immediately when it stopped.

Officers were seen entering the train where the suspect sat and did not resist arrest. 

The motive for the attack was not immediately known but it happened on a train bound for Shinjuku in central Tokyo, made up of 10 carriages. 

It is the second attack involving a knife on a Tokyo train in two months. 

In August, the day before the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony, a 36-year-old man stabbed 10 passengers on a commuter train in Tokyo in a random burst of violence. 

The suspect later told police that he wanted to attack women who looked happy. 

While shooting deaths are rare in Japan, the country has had a series of high-profile knife killings in recent years.

The attacker was dressed as the joker (pictured in the 2019 film)

In 2019, a man carrying two knives attacked a group of schoolgirls waiting at a bus stop just outside Tokyo, killing two people and injuring 17 before killing himself.

In 2018, a man killed a passenger and injuring two others in a knife attack on a bullet train.

And in 2016, a former employee at a home for the disabled killed 19 people and injured more than 20.

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