Officer Satomi Kurihara of the Sagamihara Fire Department confirmed the death toll at the Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility in Sagamihara, a residential area approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital.
Satoshi Uematsu, a 26-year-old who worked at the facility until February, broke in through a window about 2 a.m. Tuesday (1 p.m. ET Monday), Kanagawa Prefecture officials said at a news conference.
Journalists gather at the main gate of the Tsukui Yamayuri-en care center
Police said they received a call from an employee of the facility reporting the attack, according to state broadcaster NHK.
About 3 a.m., Uematsu turned himself in at the Sagamihara police station, carrying a bloodstained knife and cloth, officials said.
He had been working there since 2012, Motoko Rich, the New York Times’ Tokyo bureau chief, told CNN. It is unclear what he did there, nor if he resigned or was fired from his job at the home.
He had trained to be a teacher and former colleagues said he was personable and good with children. Neighbors were shocked to hear of his involvement in the incident.
While the motivation for the attack remains unknown, Rich reported that the suspect had taken a letter to the Japanese legislature outlining a society in which euthanasia of the disabled was accepted.
A convoy of media broadcast vans converges on the scene of the crime, which sent shock waves through Japan, where gun ownership is highly restricted and mass killings are rare
The suspect handed a letter to staff at the official residence of Tadanori Oshima, the Chairman of the Lower House in Japan’s parliament in February, the House’s secretarial office has confirmed, but CNN has not been able to independently verify the contents of this letter.
Of the 26 injured, 13 are “severely” hurt, according to a local fire official. Ten suffered moderate injuries and the remaining three minor injuries. They are being treated in a number of local hospitals.