Tetsuya Yamagami killed Shinzo Abe, but wanted to attack someone else: Report

Updated on Jul 09, 2022 12:44 PM IST

Shinzo Abe news: The former Japan PM was widely respected and loved, particularly in India, where he had a bond with prime minister Narendra Modi.

Tetsuya Yamagami, center, holding a weapon, is detained near the site of gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022 .(Nara Shimbun/Kyodo News via AP)
Tetsuya Yamagami, center, holding a weapon, is detained near the site of gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022 .(Nara Shimbun/Kyodo News via AP)
By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

Tetsuya Yamagami - the 41-year-old man who will forever be remembered as the man who shot and killed Shinzo Abe - did not initially plan to attack the former Japan prime minister, police sources told Japanese agency Kyodo News.

Yamagami - who made no attempt to run away after shooting Abe twice from close-range with a homemade shotgun - told police he wanted to attack the leader of a religious group that he claimed had defrauded his mother.

The attack on Abe was because Yamagami believed the two-time ex-PM had promoted this group within the country. Yamagami admitted to visiting other locations where Abe spoke. Police sources also told Kyodo News Yamagami denied attacking Abe over his political beliefs.

Shortly after he was taken into custody on Friday, police raided Yamagami's home in Nara and recovered explosive materials and homemade guns. The suspect is a former member of his country's Maritime Self-Defence Force; he served for three years till 2005, Kyodo News said.

At the time of his attack on Abe, Yamagami was unemployed; he quit because he was 'tired', The Japan Times reported.

Shinzo Abe was shot Friday morning in Nara in western Japan while making a campaign speech. Visuals immediately following the shooting showed Abe on the ground with blood on the left side of his chest.

A person prays next to flowers laid at the site where late former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was shot in Nara, western Japan. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A person prays next to flowers laid at the site where late former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was shot in Nara, western Japan. REUTERS/Issei Kato

He lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest as he was being rushed to the Nara Medical University, where doctors fought for five hours to save his life before declaring him dead. Abe was shot twice - his upper left arm and neck.

Questions have been asked about a potential lapse of security for Abe.

Prime minister Fumio Kishida was livid as he addressed his nation Friday evening, condemning Abe's killing as 'barbaric'.

Abe's body reached Tokyo Saturday morning.

READ | Body of former prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, returns to Tokyo

A black hearse arrived at his home in the upscale Shibuya area, where mourners waited and lowered their heads as the vehicle passed.

India has joined the world in expressing outrage and grief over Shinzo Abe's death. Prime minister Narendra Modi penned an emotional tribute - 'my friend, Abe San' - on Friday, and ordered a day of national mourning for Saturday.

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