Arson Suspect Seen Carrying Gas Cans Before Attack


Arson suspect seen carrying gas cans before attack

Police in Kyoto say the suspect in Thursday's deadly arson attack had come a long way on foot, pushing a cart loaded with gasoline cans, before reaching the animation studio.

Shinji Aoba is suspected of setting fire to Kyoto Animation's No.1 studio, killing 34 people and injuring 34 others.

A man resembling Aoba is seen in surveillance camera footage shortly after 11 a.m. the previous day using a flatbed cart to transport gasoline cans about 4 kilometers from the scene of the attack.

Police suspect Aoba bought the cans and a lighter at a nearby store.

Many have reported seeing a man with a cart near Kyoto Animation's headquarters and another of its studios.

Police say Aoba visited an Internet cafe near JR Kyoto Station two days before the attack.

They say the suspect made elaborate preparations for the attack and watched carefully for an opening.

Aoba was seriously burned in the fire. Police plan to arrest him once he recovers.

Many people continue to visit the site of the burned-out studio to mourn the victims. Some offer flowers or leave messages at a table set up about 100 meters from the site.

Fans and people who worked with the victims were seen at the studio offering prayers.

One visitor was a man in his 30s who said he went to high school with someone who worked at the studio. He said he hasn't been able to contact him but that he hopes his old friend is still alive.

A woman in her 40s said that the sister of one of her son's high school friends works at Kyoto Animation. She said her son told her that his friend's sister was very good at drawing. She said through tears that the pain of the tragedy makes her tremble. She said she is at a loss for what to say when he thinks about how the woman's family must be feeling.