2.5 key seconds in Shinzo Abe's fatal shooting

STORY: Could Shinzo Abe's bodyguards have saved him in the 2.5 seconds between the first missed shot, and the second round that fatally wounded him?

Eight security experts who reviewed footage of the former Japanese leader's assassination for Reuters suggest they could have shielded him or removed him from the line of fire.

They also concluded that the failure to protect Abe from the second shot seemingly followed a series of security lapses in the lead-up.

Koichi Ito is a former member of the Tokyo police tactical unit.

"About 10 police escorts were deployed. Had these escorts understood their roles, and properly communicated with other escorts to be more vigilant with the surroundings, I think they could have even prevented the first shot. Even if they couldn't, there was about two seconds until the second shot so they certainly could have avoided the incident. That's how I see it."

Former U.S. Navy SEAL John Soltys told Reuters that Abe's bodyguards did not appear to have "concentric rings of security" around him, nor "any kind of surveillance in the crowd."

While Kenneth Bombace, head of Global Threat Solutions which once provided security to Joe Biden, felt the detail should have seen the attacker "very deliberately" walking towards the rear of the prime minister... and intervened.

67-year-old Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, was killed on July 8 in the Western city of Nara, by a man using a homemade weapon.

Footage showed the shooter, identified by police as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, unchecked and just feet away from Abe.

Gun violence in Japan is rare, and politicians often campaign close to the public with light security.

But the Japanese authorities – including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida - have acknowledged there were security lapses in this case.

They are now being investigated.

Nara's Prefectural Police, in charge of security for Abe's campaign stop, told Reuters the department was "committed to thoroughly identifying the security problems", but declined to comment further.

Yasuhiro Sasaki, a retired police officer, felt that there was enough security, "but no sense of danger," and that everyone was startled" by the attack.

The National Police Agency, which oversees local police forces, said Abe’s killing was the result of the police failing to fulfil their responsibility.

It's set up a team to review security and protection measures.

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