Photo/Illutration Police escort Masanori Aoki from Nakano Police Station on May 26. (Shinnosuke Ito)

NAKANO, Nagano Prefecture--The suspect in a shooting and stabbing spree here that left four people dead was described as a loner who was ill at ease with others in social situations.

While he was holed up at his family home before surrendering to police on May 26, Masanori Aoki, 31, told his parents that he always felt lonely and forlorn.

In junior high school, Aoki wrote about his fears of falling into poverty when he was older and called money the most precious thing after life itself.

In a composition included in the school’s graduation album, Aoki wrote, “I think what is most important in the world is ‘life’” and “When asked what is second, I will definitely answer it is ‘money.’”

He went on to state, “Whatever nice words you may line up, money carries weight in all facets of the real world” and “I am worried that I may end up being in the ranks of the working poor in the future.”

Aoki was arrested on suspicion of killing police sergeant Takuo Ikeuchi, 61, after he surrendered following a standoff that lasted for about 12 hours.

He is also the primary suspect in the deaths of police inspector Yoshiki Tamai, 46, as well as Yukie Murakami, 66, and Yasuko Takeuchi, 70. Ikeuchi and Tamai were shot to death, while Murakami was fatally stabbed.

According to neighbors, Aoki entered university after graduating from high school but dropped out because he had trouble getting along with others.

His father, Masamichi Aoki, 57, and mother, also 57, told police their son had trouble interacting with others after being bullied at university.

Aoki lived with his parents and an aunt, 60, and helped his family’s farming business because the job did not require him to meet others, his parents said.

Residents said Aoki had tended to shut himself up at his home recently and described him as quiet.

While Aoki was holed up at home, his parents tried to persuade him to surrender on the telephone, sources close to the investigation said.

When his father asked why he went on the rampage, Aoki replied, “I was by myself all the time, and I thought that people around me were badmouthing me because I was always alone.”

Aoki went on, “While I was thinking that way, I thought a certain woman was speaking badly about me, so I stabbed her to death.”

Police suspect that Aoki held a one-sided grudge against one of the two female victims.

It was not clear whether he had known the women.