Breaking -Eyewitnesses say former Japanese PM Abe Shinzo was shot twice at 11.30 AM local time, he is showing no vital signs.

Suspect that shot Japanese former PM Shinzo Abe.

- Assassination attempt of Japan's former PM at an event in Nara

- Gunman used a shotgun to shoot Abe in the back

- Suspect arrested, with motive not yet known - Abe in cardiac arrest, taken to hospital

Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, was shot while making a political address in the western city of Nara, according to authorities.

Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary, stated to reporters on Friday that he was unaware of Abe's health, but the local fire department, according to the NHK network, reported that the 67-year-old "is showing no vital signs."

Abe was shot, according to Matsuno, at around 11:30am (0230 GMT).

NHK said that its reporter on the site heard "what sounded like a gun going off twice," referencing Japanese police, who stated Abe seemed to have been shot with a shotgun from behind.

The broadcaster showed images of Abe lying motionless in the street as many security personnel rushed to help him. When Abe passed out, he was gripping his chest and had blood all over his clothes.

According to Kyodo News, Abe appeared to be having a cardiac arrest and wasn't awake.

According to the AFP, the former prime minister was attacked on a street close to Yamatosaidaiji Station in Nara while canvassing ahead of Sunday's election for the upper chamber of parliament.