"Substantial" new evidence in the Friday night attack that sent a local convenience store clerk to a metro hospital with life-threatening injuries moved the case forward Monday.
"We have not only found substantial new evidence, several new witnesses have also come forward and provided information concerning the stabbing of Yoshikazu "Yoshi" Hirashawa," said Det. Matt Dunn, Ardmore Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. "The case is moving forward."
Dunn, who is assigned as the lead investigator in the case, would not discuss what kind of evidence had been uncovered, but he did describe it as a "break" in the case. He also indicated it was possible a third person played a role in the multiple stabbing endured by Hirashawa.
In addition, Dunn confirmed even more information about the events surrounding the stabbing was gleaned Monday when investigators returned to the scene of the crime.
"We worked at the scene to reconstruct what had occurred," he explained.
Widely known as "Yoshi," Hirashawa was stabbed around 10 p.m. outside the Rockford C Mart, where he was employed. He was attacked when he apparently went outside the store to walk the store owner's dog. Dunn said it appeared the 41-year-old man's attackers had been waiting near the store for the opportunity to launch the attack.
"He struggled with his assailants and was stabbed at least seven times in the neck, shoulder, kidneys and the leg," Dunn told The Ardmoreite Saturday. "They stole his keys to the building. Preliminarily, it appears to have been a robbery and they were not expecting the victim to resist."
Hirashawa was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital Ardmore and airlifted a short time later to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City where he underwent emergency surgery.
Late Monday afternoon, Dunn said Hirashawa remained in the metro hospital in what a hospital spokesperson continued to describe as simply "stable" condition.
Anyone who has information concerning the stabbing who has not talked with police is urged to call Dunn at police headquarters at (580) 223-1212.