A Japanese woman was arrested on suspicion of murdering a U.S. airman in Tokyo.
Aria Saito, 27, an office worker, was charged with attempted murder, a Tokyo Metropolitan Police spokesman told Stars and Stripes. Police expected to upgrade the charge to murder since the victim has died at a local hospital since the initial charge.
The Air Force said in a statement that a member from the 374th Airlift Wing “sustained serious injury and was pronounced dead at his off-base residence” on Nov. 9. It later identified him as Master Sgt. Nicholas Vollweiler, 35, and said he was assigned to the 374th Security Forces Squadron.
He was stationed at Yokota Air Base.
According to local media reports, Vollweiler was stabbed with a knife and rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A woman, who identified herself as Aria Saito, was arrested at the scene of a fatal stabbing near Yokota Air Base on suspicion of attempted murder
— Yellow (@TokxJ) November 13, 2018
Airmen, family and friends, I know there is a lot of talk about the incident that occurred yesterday, and I want you to…
“I stabbed a man I was dating with a knife, aiming at his right neck,” Saito told investigators, reported Stars and Stripes, citing a Japanese broadcaster. Saito said the incident happened after “break up talk got complicated.”
Col. Otis Jones, commander of the 374th Airlift Wing said in a statement that officials are investigating the situation.
“I know there is a lot of talk about the incident that occurred yesterday, and I want you to know that we are aware and looking into what happened. Losing a member of our team is hard for all of us so I ask that you look out for each other and provide a hand when needed,” he said. “Thank you for all you do and we will continue to keep you informed.”
Vollweiler grew up in Chestnuthill Township in Pennsylvania and graduated from Pleasant Valley High School. He was a K-9 handler for the Air Force. A photo circulated by the Air Force showed him training a dog.
His cousin said that Vollweiler was a hero.
“To me, he’s a hero. The first day he put on that uniform, he knew what he wanted to do,” Lou Romeo told WNEP.
“I regret not facing him one-on-one and looking in his eye and shaking his hand and saying thank you for serving and protecting us,” Romeo said.