Fatal shooting suspect in armed standoff in western Japan

TOKYO (AP) " A suspect in a rare fatal shooting in Japan was holed up at an apartment in an armed standoff Wednesday after he fired at a police car and escaped.

Wakayama police in western Japan said that Yasuhide Mizobata is wanted as a prime suspect in the shooting Monday at a small construction company, where he allegedly killed one employee and injured three others, including one who was unconscious.

Mizobata, 45, had been at large since Tuesday night when police spotted him near the murder site and almost caught him, police said. He fired four shots at the police car, shattering its windows and escaped. Nobody was injured in the shooting.

Mizobata was seen carrying a handgun in each hand while pacing on an apartment balcony. He isn't believed to be holding any hostage.

All residents were safely evacuated by police, according to media reports.

Television footage showed the hourslong standoff, with riot police wearing bullet proof vests and helmets standing by downstairs, while police tried to persuade him to surrender.

Gun crimes are rare in Japan. National Police Agency statistics show there have been fewer than 10 shooting deaths annually in Japan in recent years, a number that dropped to just one case in 2015.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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