December 15, 2007 / 2:36 AM / 12 years ago

Gunman suspected in Japan shooting found dead: police

TOKYO (Reuters) - A man believed to have opened fire on a sports gym in southern Japan was found dead early on Saturday, following a bloody rampage in which a woman swimming instructor and another man were killed and six people injured.

Police said 37-year-old Masayoshi Magome was found lying in a pool of blood in a church near the Renaissance sports gym in Sasebo city, on the island of Kyushu, where the shooting took place on Friday.

Magome, who was found in the same camouflage suit worn in the shooting, had apparently committed suicide, Kyodo News reported, quoting police officials. A shotgun lay near the body.

Police said Magome had attended school with Yuji Fujimoto, a 36-year-old fishing gear maker who died in hospital on Friday after the attack.

Media reports said he was also acquainted with Mai Kuramoto, the 26-year old swimming instructor who also died in the rampage, but the nature of their relationship was unknown.

Six people, including two girls aged 9 and 10, were injured in the shooting after a masked Magome burst into the gym and fired wildly before fleeing the scene.

Shootings are rare in Japan, but the government has cracked down on gun ownership after a recent spate of incidents.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; editing by Roger Crabb

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