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Shinji Aoba, 41, was taken to a hospital in Kyoto after allegedly igniting the three-story studio after dousing it with gasoline, killing 34 people and burning himself in the process. He was transferred to a hospital in Osaka by helicopter Saturday, according to the police, who are waiting for him to recover before arresting him.
They bent he nude female reading gasoline from a nearby gas station earlier in the day and brought two liter cans of it to the studio on a cart. A woman in the neighborhood said she saw a man resembling Aoba around Monday near a bicycle parking area outside a convenience store about meters west of the building. He was using a smartphone and had two boxes near him that appeared to have gas cans inside.
Two days later, a animation school student spotted a man wearing a red T-shirt and jeans — similar to what Aoba was wearing when he was apprehended — lying on a park bench about meters from the studio at around 8 p. She also saw a cart near the bench. A junior high school student said she saw a man resembling the suspect both on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, the day of the fire.
The blaze blocked the front door and quickly engulfed the studio, rising up stairs to the third floor and sending employees fleeing in panic. Some were able to escape by crawling out of the windows with the over of nearby residents. Many unsuccessfully tried to get to the roof, fire officials said.
Most of the victims are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, experts say.