KITAKYUSHU – A man who barricaded himself inside his home on Wednesday after shooting his pet dog was found dead when a police team stormed the apartment in Fukuoka Prefecture, police said.
The 65-year-old man apparently shot himself soon after he killed the dog, officials said, adding that he did not have any hostages and no other people were injured. His wife was quoted by investigators as saying her husband was a former Self-Defense Forces member and had been distressed over work-related concerns.
After hearing a gunshot in the morning, his wife found her husband holding a hunting rifle and the dog lying on the floor of the couple’s seventh-floor apartment in the city of Kitakyushu.
She fled to a neighbor’s apartment, and the neighbor called the police at around 6:10 a.m.
Officers stormed the apartment at around 1:40 p.m. after the man did not respond to calls made to his house and mobile phone. His body was found with a gunshot wound to the head.
The nine-story apartment building is located about 500 meters south of JR Jinnoharu Station. The police advised residents within 150 meters of the apartment to evacuate to locations nearby such as a school gymnasium, while police and media helicopters circled above the building.
A woman in her 50s who knew the man said he was “affable” and that she could not believe what had happened. “I’ve never heard of any trouble concerning him, and he loved his dog,” she said.
Another female resident of the building, however, said that in the summer she had seen him making violent gestures after getting into a quarrel with someone in a nearby parking lot. “I had the impression that he was scary,” she said.