Japanese Pop Group AKB48 Attacked by Man With Saw at Fan Event
In a terrifying turn of events, two members of the Japanese pop group AKB48 were attacked by a man with a saw at a fan event on Sunday, May 25. 18-year-old Anna Iriyama and 19-year-old Rina Kawaei, two members of the all-female group, suffered both hand and head injuries, while the security guard who attempted to thwart the attack suffered injuries to his hand.
As the Huffington Post reports, the band gave a small concert for hundreds of fans in Northern Japan on Sunday, greeting the fans afterwards during a "handshaking event" -- which is when a young man reportedly pulled out a foldable saw from his jacket and approached the women.
24-year-old Saturo Umeta has been arrested for the attack on suspicion of attempted murder. He reportedly told police that he didn't like the band and "just wanted to commit a random murder."
Fortunately, both Iriyama and Kawaei -- as well as the security guard -- all left the hospital late last night after being treated for their injuries.
"We've caused you worry, but we are returning to Tokyo now," Kawaei addressed fans. (Quote via the Huffington Post.) "Thank you very much."
Sadly, the attack has undoubtedly rattled AKB48, nicknamed the "idols you can meet every day" because of their frequent fan events. It has also shaken up the country -- typically known for their safety precautions -- and caused many to question how the man could have snuck in with the saw.
Though the group's manager believed the security measures to be "appropriate," police officer Takahiro Fujibayashi claims that bags were not fully inspected before the event and the man could have hidden the saw in his bag.
As horrifying as the attack might have been, we're glad that the women and the security guard all seem to be doing well and no further injuries were sustained.