Ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe Dies After 'Barbaric' Shooting

Suspected assassin identified as Tetsuya Yamagami
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2022 4:33 AM CDT
Japanese Ex-PM Dies After Shooting
This aerial photo shows the scene of gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)   (Kyodo News via AP)

Doctors were unable to save Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, after he was shot during a campaign event Friday. The 67-year-old died from his injuries after the attack in Nara, western Japan, public broadcaster NHK has confirmed. Abe, who resigned in 2020, was Japan's longest-serving prime minister. After the shooting, he was airlifted to a hospital where officials said he was in "grave condition" with wounds to his neck and chest; doctors tried to save him with a blood transfusion, the BBC reports. Footage aired by NHK showed Abe was shot from behind a few minutes after he started a speech.

A 41-year-old man was arrested at the scene. Police identified him as Tetsuya Yamagami but did not provide further details, the Guardian reports. Gun crime is very rare in Japan, with an average of fewer than 10 homicides involving guns per year in a country with a population of 125 million, and police believe the weapon involved was homemade, according to local media reports. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting as "dastardly and barbaric," the AP reports. (More Shinzo Abe stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.