Police are searching for a suspect who shot a man to death at a Starbucks in southwestern Japan

Japanese police were searching Monday for a suspect who fatally shot a customer at a Starbucks in what was reportedly a gang-related crime.

The male victim was shot in the chest Sunday at a shopping mall in Shikokuchuo city in Ehime prefecture on Japan’s southwestern main island of Shikoku, local police said in a statement. He was rushed to a hospital but later pronounced dead, police said.

The victim, reportedly a 49-year-old man, was in a terrace section of the Starbucks before he collapsed outside of the coffee shop, according to media reports. The suspected shooter is on the run and the motive is not known. Police declined to confirm Japanese media reports that they are investigating the shooting as gang-related.

Japan has strict gun control laws and its few gun-related crimes are often linked to gangsters. Homemade guns have been used or suspected in some high-profile shootings, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2022.


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