Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated this week while giving a speech in Nara for a parliamentary election.
Abe, the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan in modern history, was shot twice – once in the chest and once in the neck. The former PM was rushed to a local hospital and a team of 20 doctors worked for over five hours trying to save his life. Abe was pronounced dead five and a half hours after the shooting occurred.
The shooter was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody. According to Reuters, Abe was stumping for Kei Sato, an incumbent in the upper house who is up for reelection. Abe had been up close with the crowd, as he often was during his time in public life.
Witnesses told Reuters security appeared light at the event. This is not surprising as gun ownership is tightly restricted in Japan, and gun violence is almost unheard of.
The gunman reportedly used a homemade gun to shoot Abe, according to police. The 41 year old suspect was wearing glasses, beige cargo pants and a face mask when he pulled out the gun behind Abe and fired twice. The suspect, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, was formerly enlisted in the Japanese navy, the maritime self-defense forces.
Security Police immediately tackled Yamagami to the ground after a few seconds’ delay. A local mayor, Ken Namikawa, grabbed a microphone from a nearby campaign vehicle and called out to the crowd for a doctor or a nurse to assist Abe. A nurse attempted to administer medical aid to the 67-year old former PM.
Doctors say Abe died from blood loss due to wounds in his heart and the right side of his neck. The former prime minister received over 100 units of blood in the time he was treated, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Authorities say the gunman targeted Abe because he believed he had ties to a group the shooter did not agree with, though the authorities have declined to name the group.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WKOW.COM
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