Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe shot dead

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot on the street in the city of Nara on Friday — a shocking act of violence in a country with one of the world’s lowest rates of gun crime.

Here’s what we know now:

  • The shooting: Abe was shot at about 11:30 a.m. local time in Nara, east of Osaka, as he gave an election campaign speech on the street. He suffered a gunshot wound to the right side of his neck, according to officials in Tokyo. He was taken to the hospital first by ambulance, then by medical helicopter.
  • Rushed to hospital: Abe arrived at the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest at 12:20 local time, according to doctors at Nara Medical University. In a news conference several hours after the shooting, an emotional Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that Abe was in critical condition, undergoing emergency treatment. Abe’s brother, also the country’s Defense Minister, said he was receiving a blood transfusion.
  • Confirmed dead: Abe was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m. local time, according to the head of Nara Medical University. At a news conference at the hospital, doctors said the former leader died from excessive bleeding and the bullet that killed him had penetrated deep enough to reach his heart.
  • The suspect: Police have arrested Tetsuya Yamagami, a Nara resident in his 40s, in relation to the shooting, according to NHK, citing police sources. NHK reported that the man did not try to run away, and is being held for questioning at Nara Nishi police station. He appears to have used a handmade gun, NHK reported. Video footage of the incident shows security personnel wrestling him to the ground close to where Abe had been standing, moments after shots were heard.
  • International outcry: Messages from world leaders, past and present, have flooded in, expressing condemnation for the shooting. These include European figures such as the leaders of France, the United Kingdom and Italy; Asia-Pacific leaders from China, India, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia; and other leaders of international organizations.

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