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Shinzo Abe, a former prime minister of Japan, passed away on Friday after being shot during a campaign event. This incident startled a nation where gun violence is almost nonexistent.

Shinzo Abe, former Japanese Prime Minister shot at an event

Even after he resigned as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, 67, remained a towering political presence and was actively campaigning in advance of Sunday’s elections. Around 11:30 a.m. local time, shooting was reported in the western city of Nara, close to Kyoto. He had just started to speak (10:30 p.m. Thursday ET).

Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old unemployed man, was detained at the site and was reportedly being investigated in connection with the incident, according to the police. According to authorities, the suspect confessed, and he also admitted to them that he had a vendetta against a gang that he thought was associated with Abe. Yamagami also told the police that he had previously spent three years working for the Japanese Navy.

At Yamagami’s home, they later discovered numerous more weapons that appeared to be constructed from a combination of metal and wood and they claimed they understood the attack was carried out with a homemade gun. It is unknown if the suspect had the necessary licensing for the weapons. According to the police, they are currently looking into whether the individual acted alone.

A white smoke plume and two audible bursts that sounded like cannons could be seen behind the former leader during video of Abe’s speech. A man was tackled to the ground by security guards while an apparent homemade weapon was visible on camera and in pictures.

Kishida stated, his eyes red with tears, “I had been praying that he would somehow escape this, but our prayers were in vain, and to be hearing this news — I just have no words, save that I would like to send my greatest condolences.”

Kishida announced that Saturday’s election for the upper house of Parliament would see more campaigning. Abe, who retired in 2020, was not running for office himself but was instead supporting other members of the governing conservative Liberal Democratic Party.

As the cornerstone of democracy, free and fair elections, according to Kishida, must always be protected. In accordance with Biden, he wants to visit the Japanese Embassy in Washington and add his name to the official guest book. He corroborated rumors that Abe was killed with a “home-made weapon” and observed that, in contrast to the United States, where hundreds perish from gunshot wounds every year, “they have one, one, one” in Japan.

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