Hostage dead after 11-hour standoff in Saitama house

A 66-year-old man attacked three medical workers making a visit to his home in Fujimino, Saitama Prefecture on Thursday night, shooting at least one of them with what appeared to be a hunting gun and taking another of them hostage, police said, adding that the hostage was later confirmed dead.
The 11-hour standoff came to an end early Friday after the police stormed the house and arrested the man, who was named as Hiroshi Watanabe. The dead hostage was a 44-year-old male doctor, the police said.
The shot medical worker was a 41-year-old male physiotherapist, they said. He remains unconscious.
The three visited the house around 9 p.m. Thursday, apparently to express condolences over the recent death of the suspect's mother.
They were in charge of home medical care for the mother, investigative sources said.
The third medical worker was also taken to hospital after being injured with tear gas spray, the police said.
Local emergency workers said they received a report at around 9:15 p.m. from a person who said two people had been shot.
With the standoff continuing into Friday morning, local authorities had evacuated some 110 local residents, and nearby elementary and junior high schools will be closed for the day.
A 54-year-old man witnessed police cars lined up on a road. "I thought it was a fire, but I was surprised to hear that people were evacuating. It's usually a quiet area," he said.
Editor: Story has been updated to report hostage died and suspect's name.

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