Stabbing at Tokyo shrine leaves 3 people dead

Police officers walk near the scene of a stabbing incident at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo Friday Dec. 8 2017. Police say three people have died in the stabbing attack on Thursday night at the prominent shrine including the head priest and the

Police officers walk near the scene of a stabbing incident at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo Friday Dec. 8 2017. Police say three people have died in the stabbing attack on Thursday night at the prominent shrine including the head priest and the

Police say three people have died in the stabbing attack on Thursday night at the prominent shrine, including the head priest and the attacker, who apparently took his own life.

Kyodo news agency reported there was some kind of confrontation between the priestess and her brother, named as Shigenaga Tomioka.

The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. local time at the Tomioka Hachimangu Shinto shrine in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

Nagako Tomioka, 58, chief priestess of Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo, was attacked by Shigenaga Tomioka, 56, as she got out of a auto on Thursday evening.

Nagako Tomioka's driver, 33, was also seriously injured in the attack.

The brother is then believed to have killed the woman before committing suicide.

The four were sent to a hospital, where the three were confirmed dead.

Shigenaga's partner, meanwhile, chased down his sister's driver, who had tried to escape on foot, and attacked him about 100 meters away. The driver's injuries were not life-threatening.

Also, a woman aged in her 30s who was with Shigenaga Tomioka attacked and stabbed the driver of the auto with a Japanese sword, police said.

According to an acquaintance of a family member, Shigenaga was the chief priest of the shrine until he was dismissed about 10 years ago.

Shigenaga sent a threatening letter to his sister in 2006, saying he would "send her to hell", the Sankei newspaper said.

Tomioka Hachimangu found itself in hot water with the Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines) in 2010 over the appointment of the shrine's chief priest.

The almost 400-year-old Tomioka Hachimangu shrine is known for its close ties to sumo and holding one of Tokyo's three big Shinto festivals.

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