A 41-year-old man was arrested over Friday's shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Reports identified the suspect as Tetsuya Yamagami.
NHK reported that Yamagami told police he was "dissatisfied" with Abe and wanted to kill him.
A man arrested over Friday's shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told police that he was "dissatisfied" with the latter.
Abe died after being shot while making a speech at around 11.30 a.m. near a train station in the city of Nara. Various outlets reported that he was airlifted to a nearby hospital after the attack. Nikkei reported Abe's death nearly six hours after the incident.
Police officers told the media outlet that Yamagami said he was "dissatisfied" with Abe and wanted to kill him. However, he also insisted that he did not bear a "grudge" against the former prime minister over political differences.
Reporters from Mainichi News spoke to investigators, who said the man claimed to have been targeting a religious leader who was not present at the event. The investigators also told the outlet that the man was making repetitive, nonsensical statements.
Yamagami was known to have worked for the naval division of Japan's Self-Defence Force — the country's version of a military — and did so until 2005, according to NHK and the Fuji News Network, which cited information from the Japanese defense ministry.
The Yomiuri Shimbun also reported that the man is a Nara resident.
Photos and videos from the scene of the attack on Abe showed the chaos that unfolded after the shooting. In some videos posted to Twitter, a man in a grey polo shirt and brown pants is seen being tackled to the ground by a group of men in suits after two loud bangs ring out.
—BNO News (@BNONews) July 8, 2022
The Asahi Shimbun also published images that appeared to show at least two men tackling the individual — one with his arms locked around the man's torso, and the other holding on to his ankle.
—Asahi Shimbun AJW (@AJWasahi) July 8, 2022
NHK also released a video highlighting what appears to be the arrested man standing on a street corner carrying a sling bag while waiting for Abe's speech to begin.
—🇺🇸mai🌟ke🇨🇦 (@maike809588) July 8, 2022
Other videos taken by eyewitnesses showed the masked man in a grey shirt lingering behind Abe while he spoke.
—sb (@sb_065) July 8, 2022
The Nara prefectural police told Kyodo News that the weapon used in the attack on Abe was a pistol. Videos of the incident showed a device that appeared to comprise two pipes wrapped in black tape lying on the ground at the scene.
According to subsequent updates from Kyodo News on Friday afternoon, Abe had sustained a gunshot wound in his neck, and was also bleeding from his left chest, per information from the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also confirmed during a press conference that Abe was in critical condition. Kishida said that the Japanese government was still awaiting more information on the man's background and motive.
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