Shinzo Abe, killed at 67 years Age

 8 July 2022 leaves a storied legacy as Japan's longest-serving premier

Abe was giving a speech for a candidate in Nara, a city in western Japan, just ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections, when a man fatally shot him from behind with a handmade firearm.

Police arrested the suspect identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old unemployed former member of Japan's maritime defense force. Police say he confessed to the crime, but his motive remains unclear.

Japan's gun control laws are tight, handguns and rifles are banned outright, and shooting deaths are extremely rare.

In the early 1960s, violent street clashes erupted between the political left and right over Japan's security treaty with the United States, and a socialist party leader was killed by a sword-wielding assassin.

A consensus later emerged among politicians to keep political sparring out of the public view, behind a harmonious facade.

Shinzo Abe was born in Tokyo on Sept. 21, 1954. After graduating from the capital's Seikei University in 1977, 

 he moved to the U.S. and spent three semesters at the University of Southern California, studying English, political science, history and international relations, according to USC.

Abe belonged to a prominent political family. He was the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, a World War II-era official who went on to become prime minister. 

In a 2016 speech, Shinzo Abe said, "We should look to the future, rather than worry about the present."

Shinzo Abe helped lay the groundwork for Japan to side with the U.S. in its ongoing rivalry with China.

Leaders around the world have been united in their grief and outrage at the killing of Abe.

President Biden said he was "stunned, outraged and deeply saddened," and called his death a "tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him."

Former President Barack Obama, whose tenure overlapped with Abe's, also paid tribute. 

 Trump praised Abe as a "unifier" and a "great man and a great leader."