TOKYO -- On Friday, police raided Shinzo Abe's home in search of an improvised firearm. They also confiscated multiple weapons that appeared to be homemade.
Officials identified the suspect as Tetsuya Yogishi, 41, in Nara, western Japan, where Abe was delivering a speech outside ahead of this weekend's parliamentary elections.
Local media captured footage and photos of the large weapon police claimed was used to murder Abe. The firearm is over a foot in length and consists of two metal barrels attached with a wooden board.
"We are conducting forensics, but it clearly looks homemade," Nara's police chief stated at a news conference.
Police also said that Yamagishi had several weapons at his residence, which were identical to the gun believed to have been used to shoot Abe. Police said that the licenses of the weapons were not known and that the suspect was not licensed.
Japan's longest-serving leader, Abe, was shot to death. He had previously resigned in 2020 due to health concerns. This shock shocked a country where gun violence is very rare.
Japan is home to approximately 125.8 millions people and has some of the most strict gun laws in the world. According to the National Police Agency, there were only 10 shootings in 2021. One person was killed and four others were injured. According to the agency, most shootings are related to Japanese organized crime.
Reuters reported that witnesses at Friday's scene described a loud bang and then smoke, which was set off by the initial shot. Abe can be seen raising his fist right before the shots sound in dramatic video clips. Abe fell to the ground, his white shirt stained with blood. Bystanders ran to his rescue.
One witness stated that the suspect was taken out by special police after the first shot.
After suffering from cardio-pulmonary arrest, Abe was taken to Nara Medical University Hospital. Two gunshot wounds were reported by doctors and Abe was not showing any vital signs at the hospital when he arrived. At 4:03 AM, he was declared dead. ET.
Police said Yamagishi was taken into custody on the spot and is currently being investigated for murder. They said that Yamagishi confessed to the attack and added that he had a grudge against a group which he believed was related to Abe.