Chilling photos have emerged of the moment Shinzo Abe’s suspected killer casually stands behind him just before he assassinates the former Japanese Prime Minister.

The images show Abe — who was Japan’s longest-serving leader — starting a campaign-rally speech in the western region of Nara, smiling as those around him clap.

Standing just feet behind them was an innocent-looking masked man wearing military-style pants and with a bag slung around his back.

Within minutes of the divisive politician starting his speech, that same man — identified as disgruntled 41-year-old veteran Tetsuya Yamagami — snuck closer to Abe and shot him dead in an attack that sparked immediate condemnation from leaders around the world.

Footage of the moment shows Abe, dressed in a navy blue suit, raising his fist during his impassioned speech — with the camera then shaking away as two loud shots boom out.

The video then shows Abe collapse on the street, with security guards running toward him. He holds his chest, his shirt smeared with blood.

Killer pictured behind ex-Japanese leader Shinzo Abe moments before he shoots him dead.
Killer pictured behind ex-Japanese leader Shinzo Abe moments before he shoots him dead.
JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images
Shinzo Abe collapses after being shot twice, with doctors unable to save him from bleeding to death.
Shinzo Abe collapses after being shot twice, with doctors unable to save him from bleeding to death.
via REUTERS

In the next moment, security guards leap on top of the same man who just moments earlier was pictured behind the politician, tackling him face down on the pavement. 

A large double-barreled device is seen nearby on the ground. It appears to be a home handmade gun, explaining how Abe could have been shot in a country with some of the strictest gun laws in the world.

A security police seizes a suspect who is believed to shoot former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A security officer seizes a suspect who is believed to shoot former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag
NARA, JAPAN - JULY 08: Security police tackle to arrest a suspect who is believed to shoot former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in front of Yamatosaidaiji Station on July 8, 2022 in Nara, Japan. Abe collapsed after shots were heard while he was campaigning at a rally. A suspect was apprehended and taken into custody, as Abe was rushed to a hospital via helicopter. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
Security quickly tackle the killer, identified as 41-year-old veteran Tetsuya Yamagami.
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag
A man (bottom) suspected of shooting former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is tackled to the ground by police at Yamato Saidaiji Station in the city of Nara on July 8, 2022. - Shinzo Abe was shot at a campaign event on July 8, a government spokesman said, as local media reported the nation's longest-serving premier was showing no vital signs. (Photo by Yomiuri Shimbun / AFP) / Japan OUT / NO ARCHIVES (Photo by STR/Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP via Getty Images)
Security quickly tackle the killer, identified as 41-year-old veteran Tetsuya Yamagami.
Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP via Getty Im

The former prime minister was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was not breathing and his heart had stopped. 

Doctors struggled to save Abe, but he died at 5:03 p.m. local time, about five and a half hours after being shot.

He bled to death from two deep wounds, one on the right side of his neck, a doctor told a nationally televised news conference. The former leader had no vital signs when he was brought in.

It was the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese premier since the days of prewar militarism in 1936.

Nara prefectural police confirmed the arrest of Yamagami, 41, on suspicion of attempted murder. 

NHK reported that the suspect served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years in the 2000s and that he told police he “was frustrated with the former prime minister and targeted Abe with the intention of killing him.”

With Post wires



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