Shinji Aoba, the suspect behind the tragic Kyoto Animation arson last year, has finally been arrested in Japan. The 41-year-old man was turned over to authorities today after waiting ten months for him to finish receiving medical care for third-degree burns. The man is being held by police in Osaka at the moment while authorities in Kyoto carry on their investigation of the horrific attack.
According to news reports, Aoba is believed to have started the fire at Kyoto Animation on the morning of July 18, 2019. Studio 1 was quickly engulfed in flames as a propellant was used to fan the fire onwards. In the end, 36 employees were killed in the fire including many talented animators at Kyoto Animation. Another 30+ people were injured in the attack alongside Aoba himself.
The suspect was identified by authorities shortly after they responded to the fire, but he was unconscious for weeks in the hospital. The man has spent months receiving experimental skin grafts for his third-degree burns as human donors were given to victims of the attack. Still, Aoba cannot walk or feed himself despite his recovery. He can talk now, and that is why police have taken the suspect into custody as they continue to search for info on his motives.
Suspect in arson attack on Kyoto Animation studio was arrested after being judged to have recovered from life-threatening burns. He needs nursing care, but can talk. Police will search for his motive. pic.twitter.com/Kc6EfOvvkb— otakujp (@otakucalendarjp) May 27, 2020
While no conviction has been made in his case, Aoba admitted to starting the fire while receiving care for his burns. The suspect claims Kyoto Animation stole his novels which prompted him to retaliate against the beloved company.
As for Kyoto Animation, the studio took plenty of time to get back to its feet. Studio 1 was fully demolished earlier this year as the company works with locals and survivors on a memorial for those who died in the arson. So as we await for Aoba to be formally charged, fans are rallying behind Kyoto Animation to show the company their love and support.