The alleged assassin who shot and killed the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, on Friday in the western region of Nara, believed Abe was involved in a “specific organization”, and that his grudge wasn’t political at all, according to local police who questioned the assassin.
The suspect, 41-year-old, Tetsuya Yamagami was tackled to the ground within moments of firing two bullets into the former Prime Minister from a close distance with a homemade gun.
While being interrogated by investigators following the assassination, Yamagami allegedly admitted to plotting to kill Abe because he thought the ex-prime minister was connected to an organization that he bore a grudge against.
Police did not reveal the name of the organization, nor did they further discuss what the organization believed in or if the group even existed.
The police were adamant that the grudge did not appear to be political.
The alleged killer was a Nara resident and had worked at Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Forces for three years, but now appeared to be unemployed, law enforcement said.
The former Prime Minister had just started speaking to a crowd when the initial shot rang out. Abe could be seen holding his chest while stumbling to the ground after the second shot was fired.
Abe was taken from the scene of the shooting unconscious and in cardiac arrest with no vital signs, Japanese media outlets Kyodo News and NHK reported.
The former Prime Minister was pronounced dead almost six hours later after being rushed to the hospital where he received more than 100 units of blood in transfusions, the NY Post reported.
He bled to death from deep wounds to the heart and the right side of his neck, authorities said.
“I am simply speechless over the news of Abe’s death,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Abe’s protege, said.
“This attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections — the very foundation of our democracy — and is absolutely unforgivable.”
Former President Donald Trump issued a statement Friday mourning the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“Really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD! Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dead. He was assassinated. His killer was captured and will hopefully be dealt with swiftly and harshly,” Trump wrote.