The suspect for the arson on Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building from last July will be indicted on murder and other charges. According to a report from Kyodo News, the 42 year old suspect, Shinji Aoba, will be officially indicted following his arrest last May. According to their report, Aoba has likely been determined to be mentally competent and criminally liable for the arson that resulted in deaths of 36 individuals and the injury of 33 others. Following the arson in July 2019, Aoba had been held in custody while recovering from his own life threatening burns sustained during the incident.
Aoba's arrest had come earlier this year, and he had been confined for expert examination as Kyoto authorities had been attempting to see if he could be held criminally liable due to Aoba's history of mental illness. According to police, Aoba had admitted to the arson of Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building following his arrest with, "I thought I could kill many people by using gasoline."
According to Kyoto authorities Aoba further admitted to the arson because the company had "stole a novel" from him. Police had found that Aoba submitted many stories to Kyoto Animation (as part of their public contests where winning drafts are given animated projects), but deny that any of his submitted works could be the base for any of Kyoto Animation's projects.
On July 18th at around 10:30 AM JST, Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio was struck by a tragic fire. Early reports from back then indicated that the fire resulted in over 30 casualties, and over 30 injured. With 30 fire engines responding to the fire, firefighters were able to completely extinguish the fire five hours after in began. Kyoto Animation released the following statement following Aoba's arrest earlier this year:
"In regards to the accused, we have no additional comment. All that matters is his actions and their results. Regardless of how he may try to excuse his actions, or what remorse he may speak of after the fact, our friends whose lives were taken will not come back, nor will it help the wounds of our injured friends heal. Bereaved families and friends now have to face a permanently changed reality, as must we [at Kyoto Animation]. As a company, we obviously agree with prosecutors pursuing the maximum culpability that the law will allow."
Kyoto Animation has since begun the road to recovery with new projects, and erected memorials for those lost in the fire.