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Shinzo Abe Shot: Shock Killing of Former Japanese PM

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shot during his election campaign speech in the city of Nara. The attacker shot Mr. Abe in the back, twice. One of these bullets entered his neck, causing him to fall to the ground. 

Devastatingly, Mr. Abe did not survive, succumbing to his wounds in hospital. 

According to Kyodo News, his attacker has been arrested. Police have apprehended a local man in his forties, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a Japanese navy veteran. The alleged attacker remains in custody. The assassin used a homemade shotgun made out of two pieces of pipe attached to a wooden board, with a grip and electronic firing mechanism fitted underneath.

Longest-Serving PM Dies

Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister in history was in critical condition and undergoing emergency treatment. From the latest information, Shinzo Abe died at 5:03 p.m. (0803 GMT), almost six hours after being shot. 

It remains unconfirmed, but Abe most likely suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. 

Official reports claim Mr. Abe suffered a gunshot wound to the right of his neck. Furthermore, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency confirm the politician experienced subcutaneous bleeding from the left side of his chest.   

Shinzo Abe shot
Footage showing Shinzo Abe collapsed on the street © LiveNow Fox

Eyewitnesses See Man with Gun 

Video footage on social media appears to show gun smoke coming from behind Abe as he addressed the crowd. Two shots are heard in the video. In the background, bystanders can be noted screaming in shock and disbelief.  

Eyewitness accounts report seeing a man carrying what they describe as a large gun. Not long after, the suspect is seen tackled by security personnel on the street. 

shooting location
Shinzo Abe shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan © LiveNow Fox

What’s more, Chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters: “Such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it.” 

Shock and prayers from leaders across the globe continue to flow in for what they term a cowardly attack on former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.   

Nation in Shock  

The fatal shooting of a prominent political figure is profoundly shocking. Particularly in a country priding itself on its safety.  

We know Japan as a place where gun violence and political attacks are an extreme rarity. After all, this is a country with some of the strictest gun laws means weapons are extremely difficult to own.  

For this reason, many people will be asking what was the gun used and how did the attacker get hold of it?  

Local news broadcaster NHK attests that the weapon the attacker used, and the police seized, was a handmade gun. 

And yet, the bigger question may be how the shooter was able to get within a few feet of Mr. Abe with a team of security police around him. There seems to have been a lack of any sort of check or barrier system.  

Shinzo Abe shot
©news.com.au

Finally, with Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe shot and killed, will this impact the timing of the election?

In line with the ministry’s current plans, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vows that the vote for Sunday will go ahead as planned, media reports. 

In addition, upholding elections is the foundation of democracy and so, both Kishida and the LPD government will do their utmost to ensure security

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