Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on Friday, and police in Tokyo has opened a murder investigation. However, little is known about the suspect, who was apprehended at the scene of the deadly shooting.
Less than five hours after being shot while giving a campaign speech in front of a small audience on the street, physicians at the Nara Medical University Hospital pronounced Abe, 67, dead.
Who is the suspect?
On Friday, Nara Nishi police announced that 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami admitted to shooting Abe. Yamagami, an unemployed man, admitted to investigators that he had animosity for a particular group to which he believed Abe belonged.
The group has not been identified by police.
According to authorities, 90 investigators have been assigned to investigate Yamagami as a suspect in a murder case.
What kind of gun was fired?
Images from the scene reveal what seems to be a homemade weapon with two cylindrical metal barrels wrapped in black tape, according to authorities. The suspect’s flat was later raided by police, who seized a number of homemade pistol-like weapons.
Police described the weapon as a gun-like object with dimensions of 40 centimeters (approximately 16 inches) long by 20 centimeters wide.
According to police sources quoted by Japan’s national broadcaster NHK, Yamagami manufactured a variety of firearms out of iron pipes taped together. Guns with three, five, and six iron pipes as barrels were discovered by the police.
According to investigators, the suspect placed rounds into the pipe, which he had purchased parts for online. Moreover, according to NHK, police believe that the assassination was carried out with the suspect’s most powerful weapon.
How have security forces reacted?
Prior to July 10’s Upper House elections, Abe was delivering a speech in support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates. However, Abe remained a prominent political figure despite stepping down as Japan’s prime minister in 2020 due to health issues. He also continued to advocate for the Liberal Democratic Party.
Reports from NHK state that the Japanese National Police Agency will examine the security measures in place before Friday’s shooting. The former prime minister’s security was taken care of by the Nara prefectural police, who devised a security plan for him while he was in town.
NHK claimed that several hundred police officers and security guards from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department were on duty and had apparently watched Abe from every angle during his address.