2007 Sasebo shooting

On 14 December 2007, a gunman opened fire in a gym in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, killing two people and wounding six others, among them two children.[1][2][3] 37-year-old Masayoshi Magome, the shooter, was found dead in a nearby Catholic church the following day, having apparently committed suicide.[4][5][6]

2007 Sasebo shooting
LocationSasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Date14 December 2007 (2007-12-14)
c. 7:00 p.m. (GMT+9)
Attack type
Mass shooting, double-murder, murder-suicide, attempted pedicide
WeaponsBeretta AL391 shotgun
Deaths3 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorMasayoshi Magome
MotiveUnknown, possibly related to despair over personal debt
InquiryCase closed in March 2008


At around 7:00 p.m. in local time, a masked man dressed in camouflaged clothing and armed with a Beretta AL391 shotgun[7] opened fire in the Renaissance Sports Club during a swimming class, firing a total of ten shots. A 26-year-old woman, swimming instructor Mai Kuramoto, died at the scene, and a critically wounded 36-year-old man, fishing equipment maker Yuji Fujimoto, later died at the hospital. Another six people were injured, two of them girls aged 9 and 10.[1] The gunman briefly held remaining gym-goers hostage before fleeing.[3]


The prefectural police departments of Nagasaki and neighboring Fukuoka deployed the Special Assault Team shortly after the incident.[7] At 1:00 a.m., the perpetrator's car was found parked outside a Catholic church near the gym where the shooting took place. At 6:00 a.m., a gunshot was heard inside, and at 7:30 a.m. his body was found.[4]

The perpetrator, Masayoshi Magome, was a 37-year-old unemployed man who lived with his parents and had a history of mental illness. His family was Catholic but he did not attend church services regularly.[5] Investigators claimed that Magome was friends with Kuramoto and Fujimoto, the two people killed, and often ate at their homes.[5] He had a permit for three shotguns and an air gun. The police allegedly received several complaints from Magome's neighbors that he roamed the city while carrying his guns.[8]

Due to his death, prosecutors dropped the case against Magome and ceased investigations in March 2008. His motive was presumed to be "despair over mounting debts".[9]


  1. ^ a b "Gunman opens fire at Japanese gym and kills two". Reuters. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  2. ^ "Three dead in Japan shooting". The Age. 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  3. ^ a b "Gunman flees after shooting up Japanese sports club". CBC News. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2022-06-17.
  4. ^ a b "Suspect in gym shootings found dead at church". The Japan Times. 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  5. ^ a b c "Suspected Japanese gym shooter found dead". UPI. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  6. ^ "Japan: Sports centre gunman found dead". Irish Examiner. 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  7. ^ a b "特殊急襲部隊SAT解説". PoliceManiacs.com (in Japanese). 2017-02-14. Archived from the original on 2021-12-10. Retrieved 2022-06-17.
  8. ^ "Media in Japan calls for tighter gun control". Taiwan News. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  9. ^ "Dead Nagasaki shooter's case closed". The Japan Times. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2022-06-18.