Two Japanese tourists have been killed on the Pacific holiday island of Guam after a local man went on a knife rampage.

Chad DeSoto, 21, ploughed his car into bystanders in an upscale shopping area in Tumon Bay, jumped out of the vehicle and began lashing out with a knife, witnesses said.

Ashley Quichocho, 18, who was at a nearby café when the attack took place, told Pacific Daily News: "He started stabbing someone, and I started freaking out. He was just running back and forth stabbing people.

Police spokesman AJ Balajadia said the suspect drove his car on to the pavement, ploughed through seven pedestrians and then crashed into a shop.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said at least 14 tourists were attacked, including the two who were killed. Two of the injured have been released from hospital.

DeSoto has been charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Maximum damage

The Japanese media said the two fatalities were women, one aged 28 and one aged 82. An eight-month-old baby who was stabbed was among those who survived.

According to, the victims were named as Kazuko Uehara and Rie Sugiyama. Court documents claimed that DeSoto was intent on causing maximum damage, it added.

"The defendant tated to police officers that he had intended on hurting as many people [as possible] with his vehicle initially and subsequently with his knife," the documents say.

Eddie Calvo, the governor of Guam, said: "This was an isolated incident - something that just doesn't happen in our community. We are shocked, we are grieving with the families, and we extend our deepest condolences to those hurt."

Mark Baldyga, Guam Visitors Bureau chairman, said: "Guam has long been considered as one of the safest tourist destinations in the region and it remains so today.

"US federal immigration and customs protect our borders, and we dedicate substantial resources to ensuring that Guam remains a warm, friendly and safe holiday destination."

Guam is a popular holiday destination for Japanese tourists as it is just a three-hour flight from Tokyo. Visitors from Japan accounted for 73 per cent of Guam's 1.1 million tourists in 2011.