Omiya, Japan – The man suspected of killing 34 people in an arson attack in Japan lived alone, hundreds of miles away from the burning Kyoto animation studio Only a few days earlier, police suspected that 41-year-old Shinji Aoba had committed Japan's worst mass murder in two decades on Thursday, when he went to the Western Japan studio and poured gasoline. The police confirmed Aoba's identity and said He had previously been convicted of stealing a business. He was not arrested because he is hospitalized because of severe burns all over his body, NHK said.
Aoba lived alone on the ground floor of a two-storey residential building on the outskirts of Omiya, a suburb of commuters Tokyo and about 500 km east of Kyoto. His neighbor remembered Aoba as thick and unkempt with blemished skin. He had odd hours and barely spoke to anyone.
"I have never seen him go out during the day, not even to the grocery store, I heard him regularly go out around midnight," said the neighbor, a 27-year-old man. One-year-old who refused to be identified, Reuters said.
Music from video games that sounded at all times from Aoba's home, the neighbor said, adding that there had been complaints from residents about the noise last year.
] On July 14, days before the attack, Aoba grabbed the neighbor and threatened him with an obvious misunderstanding. It started when Aoba started hammering against the wall to complain about noise, the neighbor said.
When the neighbor went to Aoba's front door to tell him that the noise came from another unit, he heard a loud moaning in the apartment and then the door opened.
"When he came out of his apartment, his eyes were bloodshot and he started screaming into my face to shut up," said the neighbor.
"He grabbed my collar and I started to pull my hair, it was scary."
After the Kyoto attack, Aoba told the police he did it because the studio plagiarized his novel Kyodo reported. Kyoto Animation is known in Japan and abroad for its series and films, including "Violet Evergarden," which can be seen on Netflix.
Aoba lived in the Omiya apartment for about three years, said the neighbor. Japanese media reported that he was drafted after being released from jail for robbing a grocery store east of Tokyo. In addition, he had taken care of mental illness, said the state broadcaster NHK.
The apartment house is typical Of the prefabricated houses in which Japanese suburbs reside: small, identical units with thin walls. Individual air conditioners stand on narrow balconies outside each unit. The apartments are usually intended for single people and popular with low-income and younger workers.
Residents of the area – a rural settlement off a busy street where recently built homes and neglected vegetable patches fight for space with a tiny graveyard – said they were shocked by the news of the arson.
"I have spent my entire life here, and until recently there were no cases of violence or talk of violent people in the neighborhood in this area." said an engineer in his 20s on the way to his parents, who live near Aoba's apartment.
"It is disturbing."