Four people have been killed and at least 22 have been injured in a deadly knife attack in the Taipei Metro. At around 16:26 local time, a 21-year-old student, who according to witnesses had boarded the train in Longshan Temple Station, launched a knife attack, stabbing dozens of passengers. The attack happened during the rush hour in the Bannan Line, one of the busiest lines of the Metro.
The attacker has been identified as Zheng Jie (鄭捷), a second-grade student at Donghai University (東海大學). Pictures show that he was wearing a red T-shirt and black short trousers. The Bureau Chief of the New Taipei Police, Chen Guo’en (陳國恩), said that the man had planned the attack last week and that he showed no signs of regret.
Videos show the panicking passengers trying to protect themselves from the man (watch video below). As soon as the train stopped at Jiangzicui Station (江子翠), the passengers rushed out, looking for a place to hide. Within a few minutes, the police had seized the man, who was covered in the blood of his victims. Three of them, a 47-year-old woman and two men, 20 and 30 years old respectively, died from the injuries.
Upon his capture, Zheng kept repeating: “Since I was a child I’ve been wanting to do something big!” (我從小立志要做一件大事!) (note). According to preliminary investigations, the man was not drunk. When asked by the police whether he knew that he would be punished, he replied: “I know I will be sentenced to death” (note).
The parents of the attacker said that he is a “nerd” (宅男). He has no friends, no girlfriend, and except for going to school he just stayed at home playing video games (note).
The Taipei Metro is considered one of the safest in the world. This has been the first incident of the kind since it began operations in 1996.