Tetsuya Yamagami: What we know about the man suspected of shooting Shinzo Abe

Tetsuya Yamagami: What we know about the man suspected of shooting Shinzo Abe
Written by admin

Abe, 67, was pronounced dead by doctors at Nara Medical University Hospital at 5:03 p.m. local time on Friday, just over five hours after he was shot while delivering a campaign speech in front of a small crowd in the street.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, has admitted shooting Abe, Nara Nishi police said during a news conference on Friday. Yamagami, who is unemployed, told investigators that he hates a certain group he believed Abe was associated with.

Police have not named the group.

Yamagami is being investigated as a “murder suspect” in a case to which 90 investigators have been assigned, according to police.

He was taken to the Nara district prosecutor’s office on Sunday morning.

Yamagami was described as “totally normal” and apparently “serious” by at least two people who had interacted with him, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

He was hired through a dispatch agency in October 2020 to work in the cargo department of a factory in Kyoto prefecture, the Kyodo news agency reported, citing an unnamed “former senior colleague.”

The former colleague characterized Yamagami as someone reserved.

“If it was a work talk, he would reply, but it didn’t go into his private life. He seemed affable,” the former colleague was quoted as saying by the Kyodo News Agency. The former colleague added that Yamagami would “have lunch alone in his car” and that “conversations with him never strayed beyond the topic at hand.”

The former colleague said there had been no problems with Yamagami during the first six months of his employment, until he began to show a “gradual neglect” of work practices, according to the Kyodo News Agency.

In March, Yamagami began taking “unauthorized time off” and spoke of “heart problems” and other physical issues, despite having had no prior issues with punctuality or attendance. His employment ended on May 15, the agency reported.

An unnamed dispatch agency employee who interviewed Yamagami for the job described him as “totally normal,” but added that he “didn’t say much” and “had a bit of a gloomy feeling,” according to the Kyodo news agency.

What kind of gun was fired?

The suspect used a homemade gun in the shooting, police said, and footage from the scene showed what appeared to be a gun with two cylindrical metal barrels wrapped in black tape. Authorities subsequently seized several handmade gun-like items from the suspect’s apartment.

The weapon was a gun-like object measuring 40 centimeters (about 16 inches) long and 20 centimeters wide, police said.

What appears to be a homemade weapon on the ground near where a security officer captured a suspect on July 8 in Nara, Japan.

Yamagami made various types of weapons from iron tubes wrapped in duct tape, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing police. The police found weapons with three, five and six iron tubes as cannons.

The suspect inserted bullets into his handmade gun, parts of which he had purchased online, police said, according to NHK. Police believe the suspect used the most powerful weapon he made in the murder, NHK added.

What was the suspect’s plan?

The suspect told investigators that he initially intended to kill Abe using explosives, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

Yamagami originally planned to assassinate Abe at an event in Okayama, a prefecture about a three-hour drive from Nara, NHK reported.

“I was thinking of killing the former prime minister there (Okayama), but I saw that there were admission procedures at the entrance and felt that it would be difficult to enter,” he told investigators, according to NHK.

Nara police told CNN on Saturday that surveillance footage showed Yamagami leaving Yamato-Saidaiji station in Nara on Friday after arriving by train.

How have the security forces reacted?

At the time of the shooting, Abe was speaking in support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates ahead of the July 10 upper house elections. Despite resigning as Japan’s prime minister in 2020 for health reasons, Abe remained an influential figure. in the country’s political landscape and continued to campaign for the PLD.

Japan's strict gun laws make shootings rare

Japan’s National Police Agency said it would review security arrangements put in place before Friday’s shooting, according to NHK. Security was provided by the Nara Prefectural Police, who drew up a security plan for the former prime minister while he was in the city.

The agency said several dozen Tokyo Metropolitan Police officers and security personnel were on duty and had reportedly watched Abe from all sides during his speech, NHK said.

About the author


Leave a Comment