Suspect took different weapon to Okayama campaign event

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Investigators examine on Wednesday the wall of a parking lot near where former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot in Nara City. Apparent bullet holes were found in the wall.

The man suspected of shooting former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told police the weapon he took to an Okayama City campaign event Abe attended the day before the fatal attack was different from the one he used in Nara City, according to investigative sources.

Yamagami said he did not try to shoot Abe in Okayama because he could not get to the former prime minister.

According to the sources, the weapon seized at the scene of the attack was about 40 centimeters by 20 centimeters, and was composed of two metal pipes bound together on a wooden board with tape.

The firearm was designed to discharge a shell containing six small pellets from each barrel.

Yamakami visited a hall in Okayama where Abe had given a speech on July 7, the day before the fatal attack. Yamagami told the police he gave up on attacking Abe that day because he was “unable to get near the venue with the weapon.”

Yamagami said the gun he took to Okayama “had three barrels that could fire one pellet at a time,” according to sources. The police believe he used a different gun on the day of the attack because he wanted to use one that would fire more pellets with each shot.

When Abe was attacked in Nara, the suspect fired the first shot from about 7 meters away from the former prime minister and the second shot from about 5 meters away, discharging a total of 12 pellets, at least two of which are believed to have hit Abe.

Holes found in the exterior wall of a nearby multistory parking lot and a campaign vehicle are believed to have been caused by the gunfire.

Several handmade guns were seized from Yamagami’s home in Nara, one of which had nine barrels. The police are investigating how they were built.

Courtesy photo
An image taken from Twitter shows what appears to be a handmade gun carried by Tetsuya Yamagami lying on a street after he was apprehended in Nara City on Friday.