The US Department of Defense (DoD) has expressed sympathy for the “senseless murder” of Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. On Friday morning, while Abe was delivering a speech on the street in the city of Nara, he was gunned down by two separate shots.

Reports say that Abe had a heart attack while being flown to a nearby hospital and later died due to his injuries.

“The Department of Defense is stunned and deeply saddened by the senseless murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. His killing is a tragedy for the people of Japan and for all those who value a free and open Indo-Pacific. As Prime Minister, Mr. Abe championed the vital and enduring alliance between our two democracies, paving the way for Japan to play an even larger role in our alliance,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement.

The Defense Secretary also said that Abe’s legacy is an Indo-Pacific region that is more “secure, stable, and prosperous.” Abe worked to build coalitions and relationships across the region, primarily through forums like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue of Japan, India, Australia, and the US.