**UPDATE** Japan’s NHK reports that Shinzo Abe has died.
Original story below:
Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan, collapsed during a speech after gunshots were reportedly heard, according to Japanese public broadcasting agency NHK.
Abe collapsed in the western Japanese city of Nara around 11:30 a.m Friday, according to NHK. A NHK correspondent reportedly heard two gunshot sounds and saw Abe fall over while bleeding from his chest.
BREAKING: Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been shot in the city of Nara, NHK reports. pic.twitter.com/R6vshJ4Elh
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) July 8, 2022
The former prime minister was reportedly rushed to the hospital after the incident. Abe is showing no vital signs after the reported gunshot, according to Japanese media.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 8, 2022
The Associated Press reported Abe “was not breathing and his heart had stopped” and noted “In Japan, officials sometimes use the term [heart failure] to describe situations where victims are no longer alive but before a formal declaration of death has been made.”
The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Abe was in critical condition and “doctors are working to save [him].”
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is giving an emotional news conference, in tears. He said Abe is in critical condition and doctors are working to save Abe. Kishida declined to describe the motive of the shooter, saying there was not enough information to share.
— Michelle Ye Hee Lee (@myhlee) July 8, 2022
Reuters reports a 41-year old man named Tetsuya Yamagami was arrested following the shooting.
Third video shows the shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the gunman being taken into custody
NOTE: Video not graphic, but viewer discretion is advised pic.twitter.com/xsskEZzBMQ
— BNO News (@BNONews) July 8, 2022
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel tweeted he was “saddened and shocked” at the news and praying for Abe’s well-being:
We are all saddened and shocked by the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the U.S. The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, & people of Japan.
— ラーム・エマニュエル駐日米国大使 (@USAmbJapan) July 8, 2022
“We don’t know his condition, we do know he’s been shot,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said ahead of a G20 meeting in Indonesia. “This is a very, very sad moment and we’re waiting news from Japan.”
Former President Donald Trump expressed sadness at the news that Abe had been shot, calling him “a truly great man and leader” and “a true friend of mine and, much more importantly, America.”