News On Japan

Japan police find bullet marks near Abe assassination site

Jul 13 (AP) - Japanese police said Wednesday they have found a number of what they believe are bullet marks on a building near the site of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assassination last week in western Japan, apparently from the first shot fired from a suspect's powerful homemade gun that narrowly missed Abe.

Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister who remained influential even after stepping down two years ago for health reasons, was gunned down Friday during a campaign speech near a crowded train station in Nara.

A bullet from a second shot, fired seconds after the first from behind Abe, fatally struck him just as he turned around, apparently in reaction to the initial explosive sound.

The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was arrested on the spot Friday. He can be detained for police investigation for up to three weeks before prosecutors decide whether to formally charge him with murder.

On Wednesday, police found what they believe are several bullet marks in the wall of a building about 90 meters (yards) away from the assassination site. Police said they believe the bullets, or fragments of the bullets, from the first shot hit the wall after narrowly missing Abe and piercing through an election vehicle parked nearby. The bullet marks on the wall and in the vehicle match, police said, suggesting they were fired from the same weapon.

Police confiscated the homemade gun that the suspect used to kill Abe when he was arrested. The taped-up 40-centimeter (16-inch) double-barrel gun made of two iron pipes was designed to release several bullets per shot, police said. Police also confiscated several other similar weapons from the suspect's apartment.

Source: Kyodo

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