Prosecutors on Tuesday sought a life sentence for a 68-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a doctor and attacking other medical workers last year during an 11-hour standoff at his home near Tokyo.
Hiroshi Watanabe, who was charged with killing 44-year-old Junichi Suzuki with a shotgun, had the "strong intention to murder as many as he could," prosecutors said at the Saitama District Court, noting that the defendant fired at more than one person.
Watanabe said during his first hearing that he had "never intended at all" to murder anyone, claiming instead he had aimed at the doctor's right knee but his shot went off target.
According to the indictment, Watanabe fatally shot Suzuki and severely injured a physiotherapist in his 40s. He also sprayed another medical worker with tear gas and is suspected of attempting to murder a separate male medical worker by shooting him.
The attack took place on Jan. 27 last year at Watanabe's home in Fujimino, Saitama Prefecture, when medical staff came for a house visit. The suspect took the staff hostage in the standoff with police, and he was eventually arrested after the police stormed the building.
Prosecutors argued Watanabe had developed resentment and anger toward the doctor, who had been in charge of providing home medical care for his mother, and called his motive "irrational and selfish" in their closing argument.
"The incident created a negative impression about home medical care and made medical workers feel intimidated," the prosecutor said.
The doctor's father has requested a harsh sentence, saying in a statement that he "could not feel any regret or remorse" for the defendant.