TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- One person was stabbed to death and at least seven others were hurt by a man who went on a knifing spree outside a shopping mall in eastern Japan on Sunday, police said.
The suspect, who carried two knives, slashed the victims while walking along a short hallway connecting a railway station to the mall in the city of Tsuchiura, about 62 kilometers (38 miles) northeast of Tokyo, a police official said on condition of anonymity.
Chaos broke out after the attacks, with the sirens of several ambulances blasting through the mall compound and frightened shoppers trying to escape the bloody scene, said local police official Takahiro Nakajima.
At least seven people, including shoppers and a police officer, were injured and an eighth -- a 27-year-old man -- died as he was being rushed to a nearby hospital, said Kiyoto Ogata, a police spokesman.
Police arrested the alleged attacker, Masahiro Kanagawa, 24, who was wanted in the earlier slaying of a 72-year-old man, Ogata said.
The man later told investigators that he "just wanted to kill anyone," Kyodo News agency reported.
"It was extremely regrettable that we could not prevent the attacks that caused casualties, despite our utmost effort to avoid secondary crimes (by the wanted suspect)," Ibaraki prefectural state police official Takashi Ishii said at a news conference.
Violent crimes are relatively rare in Japan, where most shootings and stabbings are committed by the nation's "yakuza" crime syndicates.
However, street violence was up 4.6 percent in the first half of 2007, according to the National Police Agency's latest crime report.
Nearly 55 percent of murder cases during the same period involved swords and knives, while guns accounted for just 2.4 percent of the killings
, the police agency reported.
To accommodate growing public concerns, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department plans to launch an e-mail service next month to provide subscribers with warnings about wanted suspects, their crimes and locations