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Shinzo Abe assassination suspect Tetsuya Yamagami reportedly held grudge against former Japanese PM over mother's financial struggles

Yamagami had been planning an attack for months; he made a gun at home from materials he bought online (Image via Getty Images)
Yamagami had been planning an attack for months; he made a gun at home from materials he bought online (Image via Getty Images)

The suspect who killed former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has provided personal motivations for the crime, according to reports.

Tetsuya Yamagami, the suspected gunman, spent months plotting the assassination because he thought Abe was associated with a religious organization that was responsible for his mother's financial downfall.

Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Prime Minister, passed away on Friday, July 8, after being shot while giving a campaign address in Nara, Japan.

#Japan: Police have now seized a number of improvised firearms from the home of Tetsuya Yamagami (the man who shot and killed former PM Shinzo Abe). The weapons include both a 5 and 9-barreled shotgun, which appear to be electrically fired. https://t.co/0qR1fLDrq8

Yamagami, 41, is thought to be the man who came up behind Shinzo Abe as he stood on a platform at a junction and fired two rounds from a 40-cm-long gun that was wrapped in black tape. Video footage showed him being tackled by cops subsequently.

The suspect was certain that Shinzo Abe had supported an unidentified religious organization to whom his mother had given money.

Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on July 8, 2022, while delivering a political speech in the city of Nara. The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, used a handmade gun and managed to fire 2 shots at the 67-year-old, who was fatally hit by the second bullet. https://t.co/9KyocToNdw

Speaking to the police about the reasons behind his actions, he said:

"My mother got wrapped up in a religious group, and I resented it."

Nara police, however, chose not to comment on Yamagami's intentions. Meanwhile, the religious organization he was allegedly furious with was not named by the media.


Shinzo Abe assassination gunman spent months planning the attack

Yamagami wasn't happy with his mother having donated money to a religious organization that he thought Shinzo Abe had been involved in promoting.

According to reports, Yamagami spent a long time planning his attack. This included being part of the events where Shinzo Abe spoke.

More information has come out on the shooter. He is a 41 year old man named Yamagami Tetsuya. He served three years in the Naval SDF until 2005. When questioned, he said that he was dissatisfied with Abe so decided to k*II him. https://t.co/aXxLsjta63

Yamagami reportedly created the 16-inch weapon at his home using components purchased online. According to NHK, a public broadcasting station, he had contemplated using a bomb before deciding on a rifle.

He told police that he used the components he'd purchased online to assemble firearms by taping steel pipes together.

A spokesman for Japan's Navy said that there was an individual called Tetsuya Yamagami who served in the Maritime Self-Defence Force from 2002 to 2005. However, the official did not state whether this was the same person accused of killing Shinzo Abe.

The police are saying that his current employment is still unclear.

One senior Navy official, addressing the making of guns, said:

"During their service, members of the Self-Defence Force train with live ammunition once a year. They also do maintenance of guns."
"But as they are following orders when they do it, it's hard to believe they gain enough knowledge to be able make guns."

Even army soldiers who're active "for a long time don't know how to make guns."


Neighbors say Yamagami was a loner and didn't interact with neighbors

Yamagami was not living a life of luxury. He lived on the eighth floor of a building with small flats. The ground floor is filled with bars and a karaoke establishment that went out of business.

Describing his behavior, one of his neighbors, a 69-year-old woman who lives one floor below him, said she saw him a few days before the assassination.

Speaking to Reuters, she said:

"I said hello but he ignored me. He was just looking down at the ground to the side not wearing a mask. He seemed nervous. It was like I was invisible. He seemed like something was bothering him."

According to his neighbors, Yamagami was a loner. He did not interact with people that much and kept to himself.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh
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