One person was killed and three more wounded when a man went on a “stabbing rampage” near a subway station in the South Korean capital Seoul on Friday, police told AFP. The attack took place near the Sillim subway station in southwest Seoul, police said, adding that the suspect had been detained by officers at the scene.
“The suspect is a man in his 30s and he did not look intoxicated. We are questioning him as to the motive of his crime,” they said.
The Yonhap news agency reported that the attack happened near Exit 4 of the station at 2:07 pm (0507 GMT).
Video posted on local television station YTN’s YouTube channel showed orange-vested emergency responders running towards the incident carrying stretchers.
Police had cordoned off the area with yellow tape, the footage showed.
“The man shouted he didn’t want to live any more as he was being apprehended by the police,” YTN reported.
Grainy footage on YTN appeared to show police apprehending the suspect, who had sat down on steps and seemed to sit passively as armed police approached him and placed him under arrest.
“People ran into my store, telling me a man with a big knife was stabbing people. We locked the door,” a store owner in the area told YTN.
Eyewitnesses said the suspect stabbed a man who was talking on the phone in the back multiple times before running off and attacking more people, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.
“All four victims are reportedly men,” it added.
Low crime rate
South Korea is typically an extremely safe country, with a murder rate of just 1.3 per 100,000 people in 2021, according to official statistics.
By comparison, America has 7.8 homicide deaths per 100,000 people, according to the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most South Koreans are trained shooters, as all men must perform about two years of mandatory military service.
But the country has strict gun control laws and it is extremely difficult for civilians to obtain firearms, with gun-related crime almost unheard of.
There have been a handful of high-profile stabbing crimes over the last few years.
Earlier this year in the southern city of Busan, a 23-year-old crime drama fanatic stabbed to death a woman she had met online, local media reported.
In March, a 37-year-old woman was accused of injuring three people with a knife on a subway, allegedly after someone called her “ajumma” — a way to refer to a middle-aged woman.
Last year, a man stabbed a former co-worker to death in a subway station after stalking her for years. He was later sentenced to decades in prison.
The rare incident in Seoul quickly began circulating on Korean-language social media.
“Don’t come to Sillim now. There is a crazy man on a stabbing rampage. I called the police after seeing a person injured on the ground,” one user with the handle sanong_cos wrote on Twitter.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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(This news is published through a syndicated feed courtesy NDTV).