Japanese authorities have identified a potential suspect of the brutal arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studio. Shinji Aoba is currently sitting in police custody in hospital. He is being treated for burns prior to any police questioning.
The blaze that engulfed the animation studio on Thursday took a minimum of 33 lives and caused injuries among other individuals in one of the worst Japanese mass killings in several years.
Those who observed the arrest of Shinji Aoba claimed that he was heard protesting that the animation studio had stolen his ideas. The police stated that the suspect threw flammable liquid from a bucket, ignited it, and shouted “Die!”.
Many people have congregated outside the vicinity of the studio, laying down flowers and praying for the lives that were lost. A crowdfunding initiative has also collected $1.3 million (£1.04 million) to aid the victims of the fire as well as their families.
The police arrested Aoba on the suspicion of starting the fire in the studio. Footage from a petrol station close to the studio apparently caught him filling up petrol containers not long before the event.
Although Aoba’s connection with the studio is uncertain, witnesses said that the suspect was obviously angry and allegedly expressed that he has been plagiarized.
The fire took place in the three story studio on Thursday around 10.30am (01.35 GMT) where witnesses reported a distinct explosion shortly before the fire. People were trying to escape through windows as the fire consumed the building. A local resident said that “It was like I was looking at hell”.
Roughly 70 individuals were inside when the fire began; a little more than half of them were hospitalized. Officials stated that the majority of the victims were stacked on the stairs between the third floor and the roof, where they gave in to the fire while attempting to escape.