Girlfriend fatally stabs US airman in the neck and abdomen because she didn't want to break up
35-year-old Master Sgt. Nicholas Vollweiler was originally from Pennsylvania and staying in Japan as a member of the 374th Security Forces Squadron
A US airman was stabbed to death last Friday outside the home of US Forces Japan in western Tokyo by his girlfriend who refused to accept that he was breaking up with her.
She is also said to have threatened to kill herself before then attacking the airman, identified as 35-year-old Master Sgt. Nicholas Vollweiler.
According to Military.com, Vollweiler was stabbed in the neck with a knife at his home just outside Yokota's east gate in the city of Tachikawa by 27-year-old Aria Saito, who identified herself as his girlfriend. She was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder, said a spokesperson for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
Vollweiler was rushed to the hospital for treatment but succumbed to his injuries. Saito confessed she stabbed the 35-year-old after their "break up talk got complicated" and his death means that the local police are expected to upgrade the charges against her from attempted murder to murder.
Reports in local media state it was Vollweiler, originally from Pennsylvania but staying in Japan as a member of the 374th Security Forces Squadron, who wanted to break up with Saito. However, the 27-year-old did not want the relationship to end and attacked him in anger.
Col. Otis Jones, the Airlift Wing Commander of the 374th Squadron, called Vollweiler "a truly valued airman" who will be "dearly missed by the community." An Air Force statement read, "His family, friends, fellow defenders, and all of the Yokota community are in our prayers during this heartbreaking time."
Pennsylvania local news station WNEP stated that the 35-year-old was a graduate of Pleasant Valley High School in the Poconos and that he was working as a K-9 instructor and handler for the Air Force at the Yokota Air Base. Veterans who live in the area expressed their grief at his passing, terming his death as a "loss to the country."
"Always it hurts, it hurts. It's disheartening to hear. From automobile accidents to motorcycle accidents to the high rate of suicides, it's always on our mind," said Gary Spears, a Vietnam veteran from Effort.
Luo Romeo, his cousin, also paid tribute to his fallen brother, saying, "To me, he's a hero. The first day he put on that uniform, he knew what he wanted to do. 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."
A military news source reports that the circumstances surrounding Vollweiler's death are still under investigation by the Air Force in coordination with the Japanese police.