Suspected White Supremacist Brenton Tarrant Charged After Christchurch Mosque Shootings | HuffPost Canada

Tabitha Dunn
March 17, 2019

The office of New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that it received a copy of a 74-page "manifesto" from the 28-year-old gunman Brenton Harrison Tarrant, less than 10 minutes before the assault began at the mosques on Friday.

Wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, the Australia-born former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist sat impassively as the judge read the charge against him.

The Christchurch attacker could have killed even more people as he was on the move at the time of his arrest, and had more firearms in his vehicle, New Zealand's PM said, praising police who responded to the call in just 36 minutes.

She said neither the gunmen nor the suspected accomplices were on any terrorist watchlist in New Zealand or Australia.

Police said the alleged shooter was arrested in a auto, which was carrying improvised explosive devices, 36 minutes after they were first called.

New Zealand has raised its security threat level to the highest.

The video footage showed a man driving to the mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside. After investigations, Mr Bush said the woman had been released without charge. Police have warned the public that sharing the video is an offence and social media companies have said they are trying to scrub it from their platforms.

New Zealand and much of the world was stunned by the massacre of dozens of people who had gathered for Friday prayers inside the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's South Island.

Australian Man Appears In Court On Murder Charge After Christchurch Attack

Like most developed countries, New Zealand has far stricter gun laws than the United States, where more than 50 shootings involving more than one victim have already taken place this year.

Church services for victims of the attack were held around the country, including at Christchurch's "Cardboard Cathedral", a temporary structure built after much of the central city was destroyed in a 2011 quake. "The people of New Zealand are in our thoughts and prayers". He said he survived by playing dead, but was desperate to know what happened to his friends who were there with him.

"She came here for the peace.now she is shocked", he said, adding his mother was too afraid to leave her house.

In contrast, President Donald Trump has repeatedly told mourning Americans in the wake of shootings that stricter gun control would make the country more risky, not less.

The New Zealand Red Cross has published a list of missing persons on its website.

Ardern said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who allegedly used five weapons, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which had been modified.

There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only 5 million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday wrote to his New Zealand counterpart expressing his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims. Ardern suggested "now is the time for change" and hinted she was closely looking at rules regulating ownership of semi-automatic weapons. Residents were mandated to turn in their semi-automatic rifles and other now-outlawed weapons.

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

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