Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Suspect In New Zealand Mosque Attack Appears In Court

Suspect In New Zealand Mosque Attack Appears In Court

Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday after 49 people were killed and dozens wounded in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed two of those in custody were arrested at the scene, and that police were working to establish whether they had had any involvement in the incident.

One of the two, a woman, has been released, and a man remains in custody on firearms charges, he said.

Of the four people police apprehended on Friday, one was released ― an innocent bystander who "was just trying to get their kids home", Bush said. Patients ranged in age from 2 years old to almost 70, according to David Meates, chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board.

Outside one of the two mosques, 32-year-old Ash Mohammed pushed through police barricades in hopes of finding out what happened to his father and two brothers, whose cellphones rang unanswered.

Australia honoured the victims by lighting up some of the country's most famous landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House which projected the Silver Fern of New Zealand on its sails.

Mohamed Hassan, a journalist who lived in New Zealand for most of his life, says Muslims have been grieving alongside numerous other communities.

The first victim identified was Daoud Nabi, a 71-year-old grandfather who died trying to save someone else from a bullet, according to his son.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters on Saturday, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.


After her press conference, New Zealand Attorney General David Parker promised a crowd at a vigil for the victims of the shooting that the government would ban semi-automatic weapons, according to the New Zealand Herald.

From time to time people outside the cordon came to place flowers under a tree to express their condolences to the victims.

They shared a video message from musicians SOL3MIO, who dedicated a song to "New Zealand, and to family and friends".

"She was engaged, she was concerned, she knew what to say", one of the attendees said.

It is customary in Islam to bury the dead within the 24 hours. Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country where levels of gun violence are low.

Later in the day, it emerged that he used five guns in Friday's attack, including two shotguns and two semi-automatic weapons.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who condemned the attack as a "horrible massacre", was praised in the accused gunman's manifesto as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

Sanjiv Kohli, the Indian diplomat, tweeted after the attack on Friday: "As per updates received from multiple sources there are 9 missing persons of Indian nationality/origin".

"This act of terror was brought to our shores and rained down upon us".

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