Suspect of Abe Assassination Wielded Homemade Gun

Japanese authorities said the man who killed former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe spent months planning the attack with a homemade gun.  

According to the police, the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, improvised the weapon from parts he purchased online and then spent months plotting the attack, including attending one of Abe’s campaigns the day before the attack, which is about 200km away from the incident.  

Police said Yamagami believed Abe had a connection with the religious group he blamed for his mother’s bankruptcy. 

On Friday, Japanese television showed videos of Yamagami walking calmly toward Abe from behind and firing at him twice. 

Local media reported the suspect told police “He made guns by wrapping steel pipes together with tape, some of them with three, five or six pipes.”  

Reports also said Yamagami had considered a bomb attack before opting for a gun. 

A spokesperson for Japan’s navy said a person named Tetsuya Yamagami served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force from 2002 to 2005, but did not confirm this was the same person as the assassination suspect. 

According to the spokesperson, Yamagami joined a training unit in Sasebo and was assigned to a destroyer artillery section and later to a training ship in Hiroshima. 

“During their service, members of the Self-Defense Force train with live ammunition once a year. They also do breakdowns and maintenance of guns,” a senior navy officer said. 

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