In Kyoto, Japan, Kyoto Animation studios became the scene where a deadly attack unfolded, killing 33 people, and hurting dozens more in the late morning hours today.
Police report a 41-year-old suspect made his way onto the Kyoto Animation studio, also known as KyoAni, spraying gasoline. Before igniting the blaze, local news sources report the man was screaming “die.”
There were about 70 people in the building at the time. At least 36 have been sent to the hospital to be treated for injuries, including the suspected arsonist.
The man was quickly apprehended and suffered burns to his face and chest, after running from the scene and falling near a train station. Police also say they found a hammer and multiple knives at the scene.
Japanese officials say the man was not a former employee of KyoAni studio, but did, however, have some kind of pent up rage and aggression toward the studio. His motives are still unclear.
Fans of the studio took to Twitter to express their sympathies and support of KyoAni with the hashtag #PrayForKyoAni.
I can’t believe this It breaks my heart completely I wish this wasn’t real #PrayForKyoani teaches me so many lesson about friendship love and life I wish kyotoanimation can be recover since a lot of anime in this studio is truly amazing 😭❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤🇯🇵🇯🇵😢😢😢 pic.twitter.com/FQ19sLACbl
— Neckystereo (@Panitporn12) July 18, 2019
— Pandobra (@Pandobra) July 18, 2019
— Kim Han (@199x_noona) July 18, 2019
Woke up earlier this morning from this nightmare to see #PrayForKyoani worldwide trending #1. Just goes to show how many lives they have touched and changed for the better. I know they’ve changed mine.
Let’s all do whatever we possibly can to give back in whatever ways we can. pic.twitter.com/61mhlEp1OZ
— Kumiko’s euphonium (@JackUTS) July 18, 2019
Kyoto Animation Director Hideaki Hatta told a local news broadcaster that there were recently threatening emails sent to the company.
They were addressed to our office and sales department and told us to die. It is unbearable that the people who helped carry Japan’s animation industry were hurt and lost their lives in this way.
Firefighters were able to control the blaze about five hours after the attack, which happened at 10:30 a.m. Japan time.
The death toll from this horrific fire is one of the highest in Japan in recent years.