On camera: How former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was attacked from behind
Shinzo Abe collapsed after he was shot at in the middle of his campaign speech in Western Japan's Nara. Later in the day, he died.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot while he was making a speech on a street in Nara on Friday. Hours after fighting for life, he was declared dead in the afternoon. As the speech was being live telecast, the video of the sudden attack – two fire shots interrupting in speech – has surfaced. A man has been arrested for the attempted murder of the former prime minister. The gun has also been confiscated, reports said. The former prime minister has been taken to a hospital and reports said he was not showing vital signs. After being shot at, Shizo Abe was believed to have suffered from a cardiac arrest. Who is Shinzo Abe, ex-Japan prime minister? 8 things to know
In the NHK video which is among the first footage of the incident, it can be seen that the attack came from Shinzo Abe's back. Though the attacker can't be seen in video, it shows the smoke that overtakes the area where Abe was standing.
According to a woman present at the scene, the man came from Abe's behind and fired a shot. The first shot, she told AFP, sounded like a toy. "He didn't fall and there was a large bang. The second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke," she said
“After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him a cardiac massage,” the woman said. Then the former prime minister was rushed to a hospital.
Photos of the attacker being apprehended have also emerged. The man arrested has been identified as Yamagami Tetsuya, a 41-year-old.
Reports said the former prime minister was bleeding following the attack while some eye-witness accounts claimed Abe entered into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest.
As soon as the fires were shot and Abe collapsed, security guards ran towards him, NHK public television footage showed. Abe was holding his chest when he collapsed and his shirt was smeared with blood.
Japan ex-PM Shinzo Abe shot in the chest during campaign speech; Feared dead | Key Details
Abe was campaigning ahead of Sunday's election for the parliament's upper house. The 67-year-old leader stepped down as the prime minister in 2020 citing a chronic health problem. The former prime minister has a history of ulcerative colitis.
The attack came as a surprise and Japan is believed to be one of the world's safest countries with the strictest gun laws in place.