Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in serious and critical condition after being shot during a speech at a campaign event in western Japan.
According to local broadcaster NHK, Abe was campaigning on Friday in the city of Nara in western Japan when shots were heard in the vicinity.
Kyodo News reports that a person has been arrested following the incident. Follow the page for the latest updates. Content warning:
Local fire department official Makoto Morimoto said the 67-year-old Abe was not breathing and his heart stopped while being airlifted to a hospital.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says ex-leader Shinzo Abe is in “severe condition” after being shot and he hopes Abe will survive.
Kishida, who belongs to the same political party as Abe, returned to Tokyo from a campaign trip after the shooting.
Kishida spoke to reporters at the prime minister’s office, saying Abe was receiving utmost medical treatment. “I’m praying for former prime minister Abe’s survival from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Kishida called the attack “dastardly and barbaric” and that the crime during the election campaign, which is the foundation of democracy, is absolutely unforgivable.
Police arrested a male suspect at the scene of the shooting in Nara, Japan.
NHK public broadcaster aired footage showing Abe collapsed on the street, with several security guards running toward him. He was bleeding and holding his chest.
You can watch a video of a bystander who filmed the shooting, (GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING)
This is a developing story and we’ll keep you updated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Prime Minister Abe, his family, and his people.