Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and killed while in the city of Nara, Japan, and rushed to the hospital, according to Reuters. He was not breathing, and was later pronounced dead.
He was transported to a nearby hospital in a "state of cardiopulmonary arrest," having been shot shortly after beginning his speech, but he never recovered from his injuries.
"Nara Medical University emergency department chief Hidetada Fukushima said Abe suffered major damage to his heart in addition to two neck wounds that damaged an artery, causing extensive bleeding. He was in a state of cardio and pulmonary arrest when he arrived at the hospital and never regained his vital signs, Fukushima said," according to NPR.
Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported further that Abe had been shot from behind with a shotgun and was seen bleeding from the chest. Japan's upper house elections are upcoming, and Abe was delivering a campaign speech.
The former Prime Minister collapsed during a speech in the city of Nara, in western Japan. An NHK reporter claimed to have heard what sounded like at least one gunshot and saw Shinzo bleeding.
According to the Associated Press, Abe, 67, had been making a campaign speech at around 11 am before an election scheduled for Sunday for the upper house of the Japanese Parliament when he was shot from behind.
Officials said that a male suspect has been arrested at the scene and identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a Nara-area man in his 40s and a former Maritime Self-Defense Force member.
Authorities confiscated what appeared to be a handmade shotgun. Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and in country, shootings are considered to be rare.
Bystander video appeared to show a cloud of smoke when the shooting happened.
Abe was the longest serving Prime Minister to date. He served in office for two non-consecutive terms, from 26 September 2006 until 26 September 2007, and from 26 December 2012 until 16 September 2020.
Abe has outspoken about Taiwan independence and called on the US to state it would intervene on Taiwan's behalf if it was attacked by China. When former President Donald Trump was seeking to create relations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Abe unsuccessfully worked on negotiating a summit with the dictator to mend relations.
Trump said on Truth Social, "Absolutely devastating news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, a truly great man and leader, has been shot, and is in very serious condition. He was a true friend of mine and, much more importantly, America. This is a tremendous blow to the wonderful people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much. We are all praying for Shinzo and his beautiful family!"
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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