The man who shot and killed former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today had an arsenal of home-made pistols and explosives stored at his home, police have revealed.
Mr Abe, 67 and Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot around 11.30am in the city of Nara as he gave a campaign speech ahead of elections on Sunday. He was rushed to hospital with wounds to his heart and neck, and died from massive blood loss shortly after 5pm.
Gunman Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, shot Abe twice with a home-made shotgun made out of two pieces of pipe attached to a wooden board, with a grip and electronic firing mechanism fitted underneath. It is not clear what kind of ammunition or gunpowder he used.
But detectives raiding his home say they have found several ‘possible explosives’ and taken them away to be disposed of. Yamagami has also told police that he manufactured multiple handguns, which are otherwise illegal to own in Japan.
It is not known how exactly Yamagami learned to make the weapons or explosives, but he is a veteran of the country’s defence forces – having served in the navy between 2002 and 2005.
He has admitted to the shooting, telling police he wanted to kill Abe because he was ‘frustrated’ with the former leader – though insists the grudge was not related to his politics.