Home / News / Shinzo Abe, longest-serving Japanese prime minister, assassinated

Shinzo Abe, longest-serving Japanese prime minister, assassinated

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s former and longest serving prime minister, was assassinated Friday.

A reporter for public broadcaster NHK, who was at the scene, said she heard what sounded like two consecutive gunshots and then saw Abe bleeding.

Footage aired by the station captured the moment he fell on the street, after which several security guards ran toward him. He was holding his chest. Witnesses say he was also struck in the neck.

Abe was shot just after he began his speech in the western Japanese city of Nara. He was airlifted to a hospital after the shooting and later pronounced dead.

The shooter, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, has been arrested. Explosive devices have been found in his apartment.  In his admission, he told police he was dissatisfied with Abe and wanted him dead. He used a homemade shotgun that witnesses say looked like a toy.

Abe was delivering a speech ahead of upcoming elections when, at around 11:30 am, two shots rang out.

Video from the scene shared on social media showed what appeared to be security officials tackling a man in a grey T-shirt and what looked like a sawed-off shotgun lying on the ground.

Speaking before Abe’s death was announced, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting.

“This attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections—the very foundation of our democracy—and is absolutely unforgivable,” he said.

Two bullets had struck the left side of Abe’s chest from behind, Fuji News Network reported.

The White House also condemned the “violent attack” against Abe and said it was closely monitoring the situation and “keeping our thoughts with his [Abe’s] family
Former President Donald Trump, who had an extremly close friendship with Abe and his family. In a post on Truth Social, Trump said the news of the shooting of Abe was “absolutely devastating” and said the former Japanese prime minister is a “truly great man” and “a true friend of mine and…America.”

–Wire services