The entire world was rocked early Friday by the news that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated by a suspect using a homemade firearm. The 67-year-old, who held the leadership position longer than anyone else in modern Japanese history, was gunned down as he addressed a crowd in Nara.
Emergency personnel quickly transported him to an area hospital via air ambulance and he was pronounced dead several hours later. A 41-year-old suspect was detained nearby and reportedly confessed to the act. Local law enforcement indicated that the shooter cited a disagreement with a “specific organization” that he associated with Abe, though no further information was immediately available.
Despite Japan’s strict anti-gun laws, the suspect was reportedly able to create a functional firearm out of wood and metal. A search of his apartment revealed even more homemade weapons, police said.
Abe was fondly remembered by world leaders, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called him “the perfect partner for the United States.”
The former prime minister’s successor, Fumio Kishida, said he was “simply speechless” upon hearing the news, adding: “This attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections – the very foundation of our democracy – and is absolutely unforgivable.”