The suspect arrested in the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday is a 41-year-old man named Tetsuya Yamagami, who has confessed to shooting the ex-leader with a homemade gun, police said.
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Here’s what we know so far.
Who is Tetsuya Yamagami?
The suspect told police he served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan’s Navy, for three years beginning in 2002.
Most recently, he worked at a factory in western Japan for about a year and a half but resigned last May, according to local media. “His attitude at work was not a problem. I’m surprised and shocked,” his former boss told the Mainichi newspaper.
According to police, Yamagami spoke to investigators in a “distant manner” after the attack.
Former college peers interviewed by state broadcaster NHK described him as quiet but not lonely, good at sports and studies.
How does it look like ?
In the footage of the attack, Yamagami wears brown cargo pants and a gray polo shirt. His mouth and nose are covered by a white surgical mask.
He wears narrow-rimmed glasses and long bangs cover his forehead.
He was carrying a shoulder bag, from which he apparently pulled the gun before dropping it on the ground during his arrest.
What were his motives?
“The suspect said he was resentful of a particular organization and committed the crime because he believed former Prime Minister Abe had a connection with it,” police said Friday.
She did not name the organization in question, but Japanese media claimed it was a religious group, citing sources familiar with the investigation.
Both NHK and Mainichi said Yamagami’s family was in dire straits because of his mother’s donations to the organization.
According to the Kyodo Agency, which cites sources close to the investigation, the suspect originally planned to attack the leader of the organization in question but then decided to attack Mr. Abe, who he believed had the organization promoted in Japan.
How did the attack come about?
Tetuya Yamagami said he used a homemade weapon to carry out the attack, and footage from the scene shows a crude, boxy device with two barrels covered in black tape.
Police searched his home and confiscated “several firearm-like handicrafts.”
According to Jiji agency, which also reported that the suspect participated in live ammunition shooting exercises in the Navy, he is suspected of having made at least one of these weapons a few months ago.
According to the police, Tetsuya Yamagami found out about Shinzo Abe’s visit to Nara on the internet. He would have taken the train to the station where the former prime minister was giving a speech.