Photo/IllutrationSuspected killer Satoshi Uematsu is transferred from the Tsukui Police Station in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office on July 27. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

YOKOHAMA--Suspected mass murderer Satoshi Uematsu was indicted on multiple charges on Feb. 24, after prosecutors deemed him mentally fit to stand trial for a killing spree at a facility for disabled people last year.

Uematsu, 27, is suspected of killing 19 disabled people and injuring 26 residents and staff members at the Tsukui Yamayurien facility in Sagamihara’s Midori Ward in northern Kanagawa Prefecture in July.

Since his arrest immediately after the attack, Uematsu has been making nonsensical statements ranging from twisted altruism to paranoia.

In one of his latest tirades, police quoted Uematsu as saying about the attack: “Gangs were out to get me. I had to do it before they killed me.”

While Uematsu’s mental state is expected to be an issue in court, a psychiatric evaluation ordered by the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office showed the suspect suffers from personality disorders but can be held criminally responsible for his actions.

The seven-month investigation, including five months of psychiatric evaluations, resulted in: 19 murder charges; 24 attempted murder charges, two charges of illegal confinement causing injury; three charges of illegal confinement; one charge of unlawful entry; and one charge of violating the swords and firearms control law.

Uematsu, a former employee of the facility, prepared five blades, including kitchen knives, hammers and restraints before smashing a window on the first floor of the east wing of the facility and breaking in around 2 a.m. on July 26, according to the indictment and investigative sources.

He reportedly used plastic cables to bind staff members he came across and extracted information from them about where the most severely disabled residents were sleeping.

During the 45-minute attack, he went from room to room stabbing residents in their necks, investigators said.

He turned himself in to the Tsukui Police Station after posting tweets, including one that said, “May there be peace in the world.”

After his arrest, Uematsu reportedly told police: “Disabled people make people around them unhappy. It is better for them not to exist.”

He also said of his actions, “I did it for the sake of Japan.”

Uematsu has been arrested or rearrested three times and has had five of his cases sent to prosecutors.

According to investigative sources, Uematsu took a letter to the official residence of the Lower House speaker in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Feb. 15 last year.

The letter read, “Killing disabled people can reduce unhappiness to the lowest level.”

He originally intended to carry out the assault on Oct. 1, but he brought forward the plan because he believed drug gangs wanted him dead, according to investigators.

“I was calling for legalizing marijuana,” investigators quoted him as saying. “So I have been targeted by gangs that are funded with marijuana. That’s why I had to complete my mission before I was killed.”

(This article was written by Hiroya Furuta and Kazuya Ito.)