Tetsuya Yamagami – the 41-year-old who will forever be remembered as the man who shot and killed Shinzo Abe – initially did not plan to attack Japan’s former prime minister, police sources told Japanese news agency Kyodo News.
Yamagami – who did not attempt to flee after shooting Abe twice at point-blank range with a homemade shotgun – told police he wanted to attack the leader of a religious group he claimed defrauded his mother.
The attack on Abe took place because Yamagami believed that the former PM had twice promoted this group within the country. Yamagami admitted to visiting other places where Abe spoke. Law enforcement sources also told Kyodo News that Yamagami denied attacking Abe because of his political beliefs.
Shortly after he was arrested on Friday, police raided Yamagami’s home in Nara and recovered explosive materials and homemade weapons. The suspect is a former member of his country’s Maritime Self-Defense Force; he served for three years until 2005, he told Kyodo News.
At the time of his attack on Abe, Yamagami was unemployed; he dropped out because he was ‘tired’, reported The Japan Times.
Shinzo Abe was shot on Friday morning in Nara, western Japan, while delivering a campaign speech. Footage immediately after the shooting showed Abe on the ground with blood on the left side of his chest.
He lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest while being rushed to Nara Medical University, where doctors fought for five hours to save his life before declaring him dead. Abe was shot twice – in the left arm and in the neck.
Questions were asked about a possible security lapse for Abe.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was livid as he addressed his nation on Friday night, condemning Abe’s murder as “barbaric”.
Abe’s body arrived in Tokyo on Saturday morning.
READ | Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe’s Body Returns to Tokyo
A black hearse arrived at his home in the prime area of Shibuya, where mourners waited and bowed their heads as the vehicle passed.
India joined the world in expressing outrage and grief over the death of Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a moving tribute – ‘my friend, Abe San’ – on Friday and ordered a day of national mourning for Saturday.