Days after news of a harrowing mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, another country is gripped by deadly violence: Japan.
Early Friday morning, it was reported that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been shot while delivering a speech in the city of Nara ahead of the country’s elections, which are scheduled for Sunday.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
The shooter, according to New York Daily Newsis a 41-year-old former Japanese Navy member named Tetsuya Yamagami, who recently quit his job and led the attack using a homemade weapon.
It is said that Yamagami was standing behind the politician when he unleashed several bullets, one of which hit Abe in the neck and another in the heart. He remained conscious immediately after being hit, although the victim’s condition deteriorated during his flight to Nara Medical University, where he was pronounced dead hours later.
Cameras snapped pictures of the DIY gun – likely required due to Japan’s strict gun laws – which was wrapped in black duct tape and measured about 15 inches long.
“I think what we’re seeing here, with what is probably a muzzle-loading weapon, is not just an attempt to circumvent gun control, but also strict ammunition control in Japan,” said NR Jenzen-Jones, the director of Arms Research Services speculated.
After raiding Yamagami’s one-bedroom apartment, police found weapons of a similar nature, and in an interview he reportedly confessed to his crimes, claiming to have killed Abe for his ties to an unnamed organization.
Since gun violence is such a rare event in Japan, citizens were shaken by the tragedy. To purchase a piece, buyers must go through a 12-step process that includes an in-class and written exam, a shooting range test (which must be passed with 95% or better accuracy), a health assessment mental, as well as rigorous background checks.
Since 2017, a total of 14 people have died in firearm-related incidents, most of which are linked to organized crime.
Learn more in the video below and check back with HNHH later for more new updates. RIP Shinzo Abe.[Via]