Photo: Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan, killed at a campaign event

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was killed on a street in western Japan on Friday by a gunman who shot him from behind as he was making a campaign speech.

Abe, 67, who was Japan’s longest-serving leader when he retired in 2020, fainted, bleeding, and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. He was later declared dead after a massive blood transfusion, officials said.

The head of the emergency department at Nara Medical University, Hidetada Fukushima, said Abe suffered serious heart damage as well as two wounds to his neck that damaged an artery.

The suspected gunman was arrested at the scene and identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a former Japanese navy. Public broadcaster NHK reported that he said he wanted to kill Abe for reasons unrelated to politics.

People pray at the site near the Yamato-Saidaiji station where former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead.

People pray in front of a street memorial in Nara, Japan, in honor of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot while speaking at a campaign event on Friday.

(Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lies on the ground after being shot

Abe lies on the ground as others come to his aid after he was shot Friday in Nara, Japan.

(Kyodo News)

Abe is taken on a stretcher after arriving at the hospital by helicopter.

Abe is taken on a stretcher to Nara Medical University Hospital after arriving by helicopter.

(Shohei Izumi / Yomiuri Shimbun)

An aerial image shows police working at the scene of an incident at Kintetsu Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara.

Spectators stand on the sidewalk as police and other emergency personnel work at the scene at Kintetsu Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara, Japan, after Abe was shot.

(Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images)

Tetsuya Yamagami (centre) is detained with a weapon near the scene of a shooting in Nara, western Japan.

A security officer grabs suspect Tetsuya Yamagami with a makeshift weapon after Abe is shot dead.

(Nara Shimbun / Kyodo News)

Tetsuya Yamagami (below) was detained near the scene of a shooting in Nara Prefecture, western Japan, Friday.

Yamagami was brought to the ground by a security officer after a shooting on Friday in Nara, Japan.

(Katsuhiko Hirano / Yomiuri Shimbun)

A woman wipes her tears in front of a makeshift memorial to Abe

A woman wipes her tears Friday night in front of a makeshift memorial at the site where former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was previously shot dead.

(Philip Fong / AFP)

A man prays near Yamato-Saidaiji Station, where former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead.

A man prays at the Shinzo Abe outdoor memorial in Nara, Japan.

(Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

In 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center) at the Group of 7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada.

In 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center) joins other Group of 7 leaders surrounding former President Trump during a summit in Charlevoix, Canada.

(Jesco Denze / EPA)

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), center, raises his fist

In 2019, during the annual convention of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Shinzo Abe (center) raises his fist in a show of unity with party officials Katsunobu Kato (left) and Toshihiro Nikai.

(Bloomberg)

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, receives the guard of honor at a ceremony at the Ministry of Defense.

In 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspects the Guard of Honor during a ceremony at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo.

(Bloomberg)

Pope Francis walks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon his arrival at the Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo.

In 2019, Abe walks with Pope Francis after the Pope’s arrival at the Prime Minister’s residence in Tokyo.

(Tomohiro Osumi / poolside photo)

President Obama watches as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe carries a wreath

In 2016, President Obama watches as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lays a wreath in front of the cenotaph at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan.

(Bloomberg)