Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pronounced dead, the doctors treating him confirmed after he was shot at an election campaign event in the city of Nara.
“Shinzo Abe was transported to [the hospital] at 12:20 pm. He was in a state of cardiac arrest upon arrival. Resuscitation was administered. However, unfortunately, he died at 5:03 pm,” Hidetada Fukushima, professor of emergency medicine at Nara Medical University Hospital, told reporters on Friday.
Officials said Abe was shot while he was delivering a campaign speech on the street near a train station in Nara. Broadcaster NHK said its reporter on the scene heard a gun going off twice before Abe collapsed to the ground, clutching his chest and bleeding.
A 41-year-old male suspect was arrested at the scene. He reportedly used a “handmade” weapon.
Abe was flown to the hospital by helicopter, but he was already showing no vital signs by the time he reached the facility, with bullet wounds to the neck and chest. One bullet appeared to have entered through his left shoulder.
Fukushima said that Abe died of blood loss despite being administered blood transfusions in large quantities.
The former prime minister’s wife, Akie Abe, arrived at the hospital on Friday afternoon and Fukushima said the family had been informed of Abe’s death.