He was taken to hospital and appeared to be in cardo-respiratory arrest — a term used in Tokyo indicating no vital signs
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was apparently shot at on Friday during a campaign speech, according to national broadcaster NHK.
- Gov’t spokesperson says Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Cabinet ministers are returning to Tokyo after Abe was shot, reports PTI
- Fire official in Japan says Abe was not breathing, heart stopped while being airlifted to hospital for gunshot wound, reports PTI
Eyewitnesses said he collapsed immediately after. NHK said a man in his 40s had been arrested for attempted murder and a gun had been confiscated from him, citing police sources, reports ndtv.com and PTI.
Shinzo Abe had been delivering a stump speech at an event ahead of Sunday’s upper House elections when the apparent sound of gunshots was heard, NHK and Kyodo news agency said.
“He was giving a speech and a man came from behind,” a young woman at the scene told NHK. “The first shot sounded like a toy. He didn’t fall and there was a large bang. The second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke,” she added.
“After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him a cardiac massage.”
Abe, 67, collapsed and was bleeding from the neck, a source from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party told the Jiji news agency. Neither the LDP nor local police were able to immediately confirm the reports.
NHK and Kyodo both reported Abe was taken to hospital and appeared to be in cardo-respiratory arrest — a term used in Japan indicating no vital signs, and generally preceding a formal certification of death by a coroner.
Photos of the attacker being apprehended have also emerged.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020, when he was forced to step down due to the debilitating bowel condition ulcerative colitis.
Japan has some of the world’s toughest gun-control laws, and annual deaths from firearms in the country of 125 million people are regularly in single figures.