May 27, 2020, the 42-year-old Shinji Aoba was arrested at a hospital in Kyoto, more than 10 months after starting the fire at the Fushimi studio of the anime production company, Kyoto Animation on July 2019, Aoba was at first caught at the location of the accident soon after it occurred and cited as saying “I spread gas around the studio. I lit it with a lighter.”
Aoba sustained severe burns in the attack, resulting in a loss of consciousness and extensive skin grafts to replace destroyed tissue on his face and arms. The coronavirus outbreak caused its secondary delay in the process of his arrest, after being placed under arrest he was taken to Kyoto’s Fushimi Police Station, where the investigation began.
During the interview with the officials, “I had a grudge against Kyo Ani,” he told the officials, employing the commonly used nickname for Kyoto Animation and seemingly referring to his failed entry to Kyoto Animation’s periodic novel-writing contest. Aoba also said that “I thought that if I sprayed gasoline around the building while setting the fire, I could kill more people, so that’s why I did that.”
When Aoba got informed that 36 people died either in the attack or due to injuries sustained in it and that another 33 survivors suffered serious injuries, Aoba responded with (Sou nan desu ka?) “Oh is that so?” Aoba had been unaware of just how many people had perished. “I thought maybe about two people died” he told the officials, but his admission that his goal was to kill as many as possible.