Man stabs 4 at Taiwan MRT station

Man stabs 4 at Taiwan MRT station
PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Police said a 27-year-old man stabbed a man and three women at Taipei Metro's Zhongshan Station late yesterday. All four victims are in stable condition.

The suspect is a 27-year-old man surnamed Kuo who is currently in police custody.

"While moving down an escalator, he randomly stabbed a man and three others," said Chang Chin-an, deputy precinct chief of the Taipei City Police Department's Datong Precinct.

"Based on our understanding so far, his motive is long-term unemployment and a low mood," Chang said at a press conference at 10:30 p.m.

At 8:57 p.m. yesterday, the male in a black shirt drew a knife and attacked four pedestrians on his way down from the escalator at Zhongshan Station's Exit Four, a high-traffic site near department stores.

A witness who asked not to be identified said that shouts had erupted, warning of someone carrying a knife and for pedestrians not to come closer.

The suspect was walking, not running, while armed with a 20-centimeter long fruit knife, according to a preliminary report from the Datong Precinct.

About 10 station security officers subdued the suspect within a minute of the attack.

Police officers arrived three minutes from the start of the attack and took Kuo into custody for questioning.

The Taipei City Fire Department said yesterday that it received the report at 8:58 p.m. and dispatched a 16-man team, two fire engines and five ambulances to the scene.

According to early media reports, the 27-year-old suspect has police records for drug use and has been sleeping in local parks.

Victims Stable: Hospital

The victims, a man and three women, were sent to Mackay Memorial Hospital for emergency care.

The hospital reported that the injuries are mainly lacerations that require stitches and that all four victims are conscious.

The victims are a 37-year-old man who was stabbed in the left shoulder; two women aged 37 and 50 who were slashed in the back; and a 31-year-old woman who sustained a 1 centimeter by 1 centimeter cut to her left clavicle.

All four victims can be discharged immediately after treatment and receiving a certificate of diagnosis, according to the Mackay Memorial Hospital.

The subway attack comes a little over a year after a fatal stabbing spree in the Taipei Metro, the first that Taiwan has seen.

On May 21, 2014, 21-year-old Cheng Chieh stabbed passengers at random on a train headed from Longshan Temple Station to Jiangzicui Station, killing 4 and injuring 24.

In March, the New Taipei City District Court handed Cheng the death penalty after his murderous spree.

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