Assassination has shocked the nation. 

National news broadcaster NHK confirmed that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died, after he was shot at around 11:29 a.m. this morning.

Medical professionals at Nara Medical University Hospital, where Abe was airlifted to by helicopter following the incident, told the media that Abe was shot in two places, his neck and upper chest area.

Abe was said to be showing no vital signs upon arrival at the hospital at 12:20 p.m. He was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest and suffered a subcutaneous haemorrhage from his wounds. Doctors attempted to stop the bleeding and conducted a blood transfusion of 100 units but they were unable to save him.

He was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m.

Hidetada Fukushima, the doctor who treated Abe, said the gunshot wounds were located on the front of Abe’s body, and though the bullet wounds were small, the heart was penetrated, causing serious damage.

Videos from the scene of the crime show the shooter approached Abe from behind, but it appears that upon turning to face the sound of the gunshot, Abe was hit at the front of his body.

Fukushima says there were two wounds at the base of Abe’s neck, and a wound on his upper chest area, near his shoulder. They are unsure how the heart was penetrated, and though they were unable to find any remnants of a bullet inside his body, it’s believed that a part of a bullet flowed from one of the damaged veins to the heart, causing the penetration.

A team of around 20 doctors treated Abe, conducting open-heart surgery to locate the site of the bleeding. Though they were able to stop the bleeding in the large blood vessels, the loss of blood was too great and he never regained consciousness.

Fukushima says Abe’s wife, Akie, had been informed of his condition and arrived at the hospital shortly after he had been pronounced dead.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, and though his political beliefs were often divisive, in recent years he won fans by dressing as Mario, and sharing a touching piano performance on his recently created YouTube channel.

Source: NHK 
Top image: Wikipedia/Lee Gok Da
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