Two random knife attacks were reported in Taipei on Monday, resulting in six injuries. The cases were unrelated, however, both crimes were carried out by described “isolated” and unstable young males, prompting concern over the state of mental health care in the region.
The first attack occurred at around 9:00 p.m., when a 27-year-old man, named Guo Yanjun, randomly stabbed four people at Taipei’s Zhongshan Metro station. According to reports, Guo had been unemployed for some time and decided to attack random people at the station out of anger. The suspect was arrested at the scene and showed no remorse for his actions when being questioned by police officers. He seemed surprisingly calm when he was transferred to the police station, local news reports said, and even smiled as he said the words “It’s all too late”.
Security footage at the station showed as Guo first stole a fruit knife from a convenience store, then walked towards the crime scene. He was seen riding on the left side of an escalator when he suddenly attacked the passengers on the other side, stabbing four passengers in their shoulders and backs. Swarmed by police and passers-by, he was held down and arrested by police within two minutes.
Guo has since been charged with multiple crimes including attempted murder, theft and assault. Guo, whose mother died of cancer and whose father had abandoned him, said it was his 27th birthday on Monday and he decided to kill to take out his anger on society.
The second attack happened in the Sanxia District later that night at around 11:00 p.m. The attacker was a 15-year-old student, surnamed Ni, who was walking pass the junction at Xuefu road and Daguan road when he suddenly stabbed two passers-by with a kitchen knife and fled the scene. He was later caught by police.
During his statement, he told officers that he had been in a heated argument with his aunt earlier and had nowhere private to go. He said he was in a bad mood and thought stabbing people on streets could help him ‘trade in some peace of mind in prison’. He admitted that his actions were wrong.
According to reports, Ni came from a wealthy family with businesses in Peru. Ni’s parents reside in Peru while he studies in Taiwan and is being taken care of by his aunt.
The profile of the suspect in Monday’s MRT attack was likened by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je to the 20-year-old loner student who last year stabbed to death four people on the Taipei Metro, a tragedy that prompted deep reflection among the public.
According to the Focus Taiwan:
[At a press conference on Tuesday] Ko suggested that the relevant authorities establish a system to monitor mental health in the same way that physical health is monitored, in view of the fact no one really knows what is in the minds of young men who commit such crimes.
By Crystal Lau
[Images via Apple Daily]