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

Abe, 67, was pronounced dead by doctors at the Nara Medical University Hospital at 5:03 pm local time on Friday, just over five hours after he was shot while giving a campaign speech to a small crowd outside.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, admitted to shooting Abe, Nara-Nishi police said at a press conference on Friday. The unemployed Yamagami told investigators that he harbors hatred for a particular group that he believes Abe was associated with.

The police did not name the group.

Yamagami is under investigation as a suspect in a murder case involving 90 investigators, according to police.

What pistol were they shooting from?

The suspect used a homemade handgun in the shooting, police said, and images from the scene show it was a weapon with two cylindrical metal barrels wrapped in black tape. Authorities later confiscated several makeshift gun-like items from the suspect’s apartment.

According to police, the weapon was a pistol-like object measuring 40 centimeters (about 16 inches) long and 20 centimeters wide.

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

According to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, citing the police, Yamagami made several types of weapons from iron pipes wrapped with adhesive tape. The police found guns with three, five and six iron pipes as barrels.

The suspect inserted bullets into a pipe he bought parts for online, police said, according to NHK. Police believe the suspect used the most powerful weapon he had made to kill, NHK added.

How did the security forces react?

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

Japan's strict gun laws make shooting a rarity.

The Japan National Police Agency said it would review security measures put in place prior to Friday’s shooting, NHK reported. Security was provided by the Nara Prefectural Police, who developed a security plan for the former prime minister while he was in the city.

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