A Japanese police officer was arrested Thursday for allegedly shooting a colleague dead , a rare fatal gun crime in a country where weapons are strictly regulated .
The 19- year- old suspect , who has not been named, reportedly told authorities he shot Akira Imoto after being verbally bullied by him .
Imoto , 41 , was found dead inside a police office in western Japan’ s Hikone in the Shiga region on Wednesday evening, a police spokesman told AFP .
Authorities realised that the dead man ’ s colleague was missing and began searching for him .
“ At about 1 : 35 am (1635 GMT ), police found the 19 -year – old and arrested him on suspicion of murder , ” the spokesman said .
A police car that had run off the road was found near the scene of the crime , the spokesman added , with local media reporting the suspect had tried to escape in the car .
The suspect told investigators he shot Imoto because he had been bullied by his colleague , public broadcaster NHK reported , citing unnamed police sources.
“ That a police officer committed a murder using a gun that we provided to him is extremely regrettable, and we deeply apologise to the public, ” a senior local police officer said with a deep bow Thursday morning in front of TV cameras.
Japan has famously strict gun control regulations and very little gun crime . In 2015 , just eight gun crimes were reported nationwide .