The 67-year-old was gunned down on Friday morning while making a speech ahead of Sunday’s election.
Days after news of a harrowing mass shooting came out oh Highland Park, Illinois, another country has been plagued with deadly violence – Japan.
Early on Friday morning, it was reported that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down while making a speech in the city of Nara before the country’s elections, which are scheduled for Sunday.
The gunman, according to NY Daily News, is a 41-year-old former member of Japan’s navy named Tetsuya Yamagami, who recently quit his job and carried out the attack using a homemade weapon.
Yamagami is said to have been standing behind the politician when he unleashed several rounds, one of which struck Abe in the neck, and another in the heart. He remained conscious immediately after he was hit, though the victim’s condition deteriorated during his flight to Nara Medical University, where he was pronounced dead hours later.
Cameras caught photos of the DIY gun – likely necessary due to Japan’s strict weapon laws – which was wrapped in black duct tape and measured approximately 15 inches in length.
“I think what we’re seeing here, with what’s probably a muzzle-loading weapon, is not just an attempt to circumvent the control of firearms, but also the strict control of ammunition in Japan,” N.R. Jenzen-Jones, the director of Armament Research Services speculated.
After raiding Yamagami’s one-bedroom apartment, police found weapons of a similar nature, and in an interview, he allegedly confessed to his crimes, claiming to have killed Abe for his ties to an unnamed organization.
Seeing as gun violence is such a rare occurrence in Japan, citizens have been left shaken by the tragedy. In order to purchase a piece, buyers have to go through a 12-step process which includes a class and written exam, a shooting range test (which must be passed with an accuracy of 95% or higher), a mental health evaluation, as well as rigorous background checks.
Since 2017, a total of 14 people had died in gun-related incidents – most of which have been linked to organized crime.