Social media image shows arrest of suspect after possible shooting of Shinzo Abe

An aerial image of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a stretcher before being placed on a helicopter after being shot in front of Yamatosaidaiji Station on July 8. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Shinzo Abe collapsed during a speech in Nara City at around 11:30 a.m. local time, and appeared to be bleeding after a possible gunshot in his back, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.

According to an official of the Liberal Democratic Party Abe faction, Abe was shot in the chest and carried away by an ambulance, NHK reported. Police have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder and retrieved a gun.

Abe arrived in Nara from Haneda Airport via Osaka Airport to give an election campaign speech on the street, to support Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates ahead of the upcoming Upper House elections scheduled for Sunday, according to NHK.

He had planned to head to Kyoto afterward, then to Saitama prefecture, which neighbors the capital Tokyo.

NHK TV is reporting that Abe is moved to Nara Medical University. CNN has not been able to independently verify these reports. 

An official from the Nara City Fire Department official said a man collapsed while giving a speech today, and that man has been transported by ambulance to hospital — but the official said he cannot disclose the man’s identity or medical status.

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By Jon Doe