Two days before a national election, former prime minister Shinzo Abe, one of Japan’s most significant postwar figures, was shot and killed on Friday at the age of 67. His death shocked the world and sparked indignation against gun violence.
Speaking in front of Kintetsu Railway’s Yamato-Saidaiji Station at around 11:30 a.m., Japan’s longest-serving leader was shot at close range by a 41-year-old man who approached him from behind while brandishing a handmade gun, according to local police.
Two loud shots were fired before Abe fell to the ground and was taken to a hospital with blood on his white shirt.
The cut was deep enough to reach Abe’s heart, a doctor from the Nara Medical University Hospital subsequently said during a news conference, adding that the cause of death is thought to be blood loss. Abe was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m