(Warning: There is video in the player above that some may find disturbing)
NARA, Japan (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech.
The attack stunned the nation that has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.
The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving leader when he resigned in 2020, collapsed bleeding and was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead from major damage to his heart and two neck wounds.
Police arrested the suspected gunman at the scene and identified him as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, a former member of Japan’s navy.
Broadcaster NHK reported that he said he wanted to kill Abe for reasons unrelated to politics.
Facebook , Twitter remove Abe assassination videos
Facebook parent Meta and Twitter are deleting any videos of the fatal gun attack on Shinzo Abe that break their rules on harmful content.
Multiple videos of the attack showing a gunman firing a double-barreled weapon twice at Abe were circulating on social media. Some only show the moments before and after the attack while others showed both shots.
Meta said it was deleting videos depicting the moment of the attack and had disabled the suspect’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Twitter said its enforcement teams were proactively removing content that violates its rules, which include restrictions on sensitive media including graphic violence.
Assassination of Japan’s Shinzo Abe stuns world leaders
Friday’s shocking assassination of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in one of the world’s safest countries stunned leaders and drew condemnation.
The White House said it was shocked and saddened about the violent attack. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Abe’s assassination was “profoundly disturbing” and a “personal loss for so many people.”
Iran called the shooting an “act of terrorism” and European leaders slammed the “despicable” attack.
The prime ministers of Spain and Singapore were among many leaders condemning the attack. Leaders around the world gave their condolences and expressed solidarity with Japan.