Ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe dies after being shot during speech
Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been declared dead after being shot at while delivering a speech in the western city of Nara on Friday morning, Reuters reported citing Japanese public broadcaster NHK. He was immediately rushed to the hospital after several gunshots were fired at the time of Abe's speech. A male suspect was also detained at the scene, as per reports.
Abe collapsed after attack: Reports
Kyodo News reported the former Japanese premier appeared to be in cardiac arrest and was not conscious while being taken to the hospital. Japan's longest-serving PM was reportedly shot at around 11:30 am (8:30 am IST) on Friday. The police also said that Abe was shot from behind with a shotgun on the left side of his chest and also on his neck.
Abe was shot in the city of Nara
Abe was earlier said to be in 'very grave condition'
Following the attack, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, "The condition of former prime minister Abe is currently unknown," adding such an act of barbarity cannot be tolerated." The 67-year-old former PM was shot while delivering an election campaign speech outside a train station in Nara. The news of his demise came hours after he was reported to be in a "very grave condition."
Man detained for shooting Abe
A man, reportedly in his 40s, was detained for shooting at Abe. A gun was confiscated from him, said NHK. NHK aired footage showing Abe collapsing on the street and several security guards running toward him. He was reportedly shot a few minutes after he started talking outside of the main train station in western Nara. The motive behind the attack wasn't immediately known.
Ex-Japan PM didn't show vital signs while being airlifted
Previously, reports stated Abe didn't show any vital signs after being shot and quoted a fire official as saying his heart ceased to function while being airlifted to the hospital. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, during an emotional press conference earlier, stated he was "praying from his heart" for Abe. Condemning the attack, he said, "It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated."
Abe was the longest-serving PM of Japan
Abe was the longest-serving Japanese PM from 2012 to 2020 when he stepped down because of the debilitating bowel condition ulcerative colitis. He had earlier held office for a year in 2006 as Japan's youngest prime minister since World War II. Despite stepping down, he continued to have a dominant presence over the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), controlling one of its major groups.