BREAKING: Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe dies following earlier shooting
The former Japanese prime minister, 67 year old Shinzo Abe, has been pronounced dead following a shooting during an outdoor speech earlier today. He was rushed to hospital by doctors who were unable to save him. Shinzo Abe died in the hospital where he was receiving medical treatment, near the attack in the city of Nara, according to a senior Liberal Democratic Party official speaking to public broadcaster NHK.
Abe was shot twice, the first allegedly missed with the second shot hitting him in the side of the neck. The former PM’s attacker has been arrested. The video also shows what appears to be a hot-made weapon used in the attack.
Earlier, ex-Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe said Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, which is a term often used in Japan before a death is officially confirmed.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that the former PM was shot at around 11:30 local time in Nara.
“One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. Whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it.”
Videos circulating on social media show paramedics huddled around Abe in the middle of a street before he was rushed to hospital.
The first shot appears to have missed but the second shot hit Mr Abe in the side of the neck. He immediately fell to the ground bleeding. Security then detained the attacker who made no attempt to run.
NHK also added that police seized the handmade attacker’s gun and identified him.
Local media reports say the attacker is believed to be a former member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been allegedly shot during a campaign speech in Nara, western Japan, this morning. Photos of the former PM laying on the ground, with people trying to assist while removing his blood-stained shirt, appear to support the report of a shooting.
The 67 year old fell to the floor holding his chest and is in a “state of cardiopulmonary arrest” (a term used in Japan before a feared death can be confirmed by a doctor, according to the South China Morning Post) after collapsing while making a campaign speech ahead of this Sunday’s upper house elections.
Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, said Abe appeared to be bleeding from the chest after being shot from behind with a shotgun. NHK added that a man had been taken into custody but provided no further details.
Abe was the country’s longest-serving prime minister until he resigned in 2020.
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