A 49-year-old man walked into an elementary school playground in Tokyo‘s Bunkyo Ward on Monday and set fire to himself and his 9-year-old son in an apparent murder-suicide. The man died from his injuries sustained in the self-inflicted fire, while the young boy remains hospitalized in critical condition.
According to witnesses, the boy was playing baseball with his classmates when his father walked onto the playground and took him away from the game at around 10:30 AM. He then started pouring flammable liquid, which they think was heating oil, on the two of them. Holding on to the boy, he proceeded to ignite the liquid, which seriously burned their bodies. The police later on recovered the can and the lighter that was used. The two were rushed to a nearby hospital where the father succumbed to his injuries, while the boy is still unconscious and is suffering from serious burns. The police did not release the names of the two victims.
The motive for the crime is still unknown, but investigators discovered that the man was estranged from his wife since May 2012, and that they are finalizing their divorce after a mediation attempt failed to settle their differences. The boy has been living with his mother since their separation. There are also reports that the woman consulted with the police before regarding her then-husband’s abusive behavior.
[ via Kyodo News ]