The suspected perpetrator of a shooting spree that killed two people in a southern Japan sports club was found dead at a nearby church yesterday, apparently having committed suicide.
Police found the man slumped on the ground with a gunshot wound, said Nagasaki prefectural (state) police spokesman Koji Minami.
Police identified the man as Masayoshi Magome, 37, the suspect in Friday's shootings in a sports centre in the southern city of Sasebo that left two people dead and six wounded. He was unemployed.
A 26-year-old swimming instructor was killed at the Renaissance sports club and seven others were wounded on Friday night. One of them, a 36-year-old visitor to the club, died shortly afterward.
The six remaining wounded - two girls aged 9 and 10, and three men and a woman - were hospitalised but police said none of their injuries were life threatening.
Witnesses have told investigators that the gunman pushed his way into the sports club and immediately began firing from a shotgun as he headed to a swimming pool on the second floor to fire more bullets before fleeing.
Police said the suspect fired more than 10 bullets after reloading his gun several times. He was the second victim's junior high school classmate.
Shootings are still relatively rare in Japan due to the country's strict controls of handguns.
Police have not immediately found a gang connection in Friday's shooting, and the suspect was licensed to own the shotgun, Minami said. The latest shooting came only weeks after parliament approved new legislation that stiffens the penalties for gun crimes after a string of recent high profile fatal shootings. ( Gulf )