Update (0930ET): President Biden released a statement Friday morning on the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Biden said he was "stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened" by the news.
Here's President Biden's full statement:
I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe.
As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people. The longest-serving Japanese Prime Minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure. Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service. Even at the moment he was attacked, he was engaged in the work of democracy.
While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it. The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family.
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Update: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pronounced dead after an assassin with a homemade shotgun fired several shots from behind, hitting him in the left chest region.
Shinzo fell to the ground, where he could reportedly be seen bleeding from the neck. After being rushed to the hospital, Abe fell into cardiac arrest and was unable to be revived.
Former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was assassinated at a campaign event in the city of Nara in Western Japan.#ShinzoAbe #Nara #RIPShinzoAbe #Japan #BreakingNews #ViralVideo pic.twitter.com/OXSkyEKD5L— Sangpu Changsan (@_sangpuchangsan) July 8, 2022
The gunman, 41, wearing a grey t-shirt and tan pants, did not flee the scene, and was taken into custody by the police.
Here's the moment the gunman was tackled by security personnel.
While in custody, the gunman (a former maritime self-defense forces member) told police he intended to kill Abe because he was "frustrated" with the former premier, according to national public broadcaster NHK.
The assassination is one of Japan's highest-profile acts of political violence since World War Two and came ahead of the country's upper house election on Sunday, which the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to win.
Japan is one of the world's safest countries and has the strictest gun control laws. There are still no details on the homemade shotgun and its manufacturing.
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Update (2317ET): According to Kyodo news, former Japanese Prime Minister Abe is reportedly showing no signs of life and has suffered from cardiac arrest after being taken to the hospital, according to police and fire officials.
🇯🇵 High quality footage of the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, being shot at from behind with an improvised double barreled shotgun. pic.twitter.com/kwoL1lf57r— 🇺🇸mai🌟ke🇨🇦 (@maike809588) July 8, 2022
BREAKING! Nara, Japan: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been shot during speech.— 🇺🇸mai🌟ke🇨🇦 (@maike809588) July 8, 2022
Suspect has been arrested. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been rushed to hospital after being possibly shot in the chest. pic.twitter.com/VPDi4JIVVD
Here are stills of the attacker being apprehended. pic.twitter.com/MFvunBC1qc— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) July 8, 2022
The 67-year-old was shot from approximately 3 meters (10 feet) away. The suspect, 41-year-old Yamagami Tatsuya, reportedly stayed on the scene until his arrest on an attempted murder charge.
Nikkei 225 futures erased gains following news of Abe's collapse, while the yen gained with US Treasuries.
This is horrendously shocking news about former Japan PM Shinzo Abe. He was an outspoken leader for freedom and opposed the Regime.— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) July 8, 2022
Shinzo Abe has been one of the fiercest anti-communists in all of Asia and was never afraid to stand up to the CCP. He dedicated his life to defending his country— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 8, 2022
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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly been shot in the chest during a campaign speech at around 11:30 a.m. in the city of Nara, near Kyoto. According to NHK what sounded like 'consecutive bangs' were heard, after which Abe could be seen bleeding - with some reports saying from the neck. It appears he was shot in the left chest area from behind.
The local fire department reports that Abe is in cardiac arrest, while Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members reported him to be unconscious.
BREAKING: Former Prime Minister Abe collapses in Nara, apparent gun shots heard. Taken away by ambulance after being possibly shot in the chest, NHK reports. pic.twitter.com/sBnz3v5oah— Kurumi Mori (@rumireports) July 8, 2022
Wow l'ancien premier ministre Shinzo Abe se serait fait tiré dessus lors d'un meeting à Nara.pic.twitter.com/KxFZApaF2B— ⛩ Ryo Saeba ⛩ (@Ryo_Saeba_3) July 8, 2022
A suspect, believed to be a young or middle-aged man, was apprehended at the scene along with a shotgun, according to NHK.
Futures took an immediate hit on the news.