Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while delivering a stump speech in the western Japanese city of Nara.
Local police and firefighters said that the 67-year-old Abe fell to the ground and was seen bleeding after he was shot from behind at 11:30 A.M. local time.
He was rushed to Nara Medical University Hospital.
The Nara City Fire Department confirmed that the former Japanese PM was in cardio-pulmonary arrest before being taken to hospital.
Police arrested a 41-year-old suspected gunman Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of Nara, at the scene.
Yamagami worked for Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years until around 2005.
He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and local police retrieved what appeared to be a handmade gun from the vicinity of where the former prime minister was shot.
The hospital confirmed Abe's death at around 5 P.M..
Abe suffered major damage to his heart in addition to two neck wounds that damaged an artery, causing extensive bleeding.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called the shooting despicable and barbaric.
He and his Cabinet ministers hastily returned to Tokyo from campaign events around the country after the shooting.