Suspect in Christchurch mosque shootings to appear in court

Geraldine Edwards
March 17, 2019

Tarrant was remanded without a plea until his next scheduled appearance in the South Island city's High Court on April 5.

Judge Paul Kellar said although Tarrant was facing only one murder charge, it was "reasonable to assume there will be other charges".

The man facing murder charges was an Australian citizen who had spent a lot of time travelling overseas and spent time only sporadically in New Zealand, Ardern said.

The President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch sent a message of support to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, following the attack in Christchurch.

She pronounced it "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

On Friday, a 28-year-old white supremacist man opened fired at two New Zealand mosques.

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Flowers and signs are pictured at a memorial as a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks, near a police line outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 17, 2019.

But in just 36 minutes on Friday afternoon, 49 Muslims were shot dead at two Christchurch mosques, leaving more dead than there were murders in all of past year.

He said up to 70 people were praying inside Linwood when gunshots were heard.

Officers also discovered explosive devices in a auto, which were defused.

"Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them", Mazharuddin told Sky.

Doctors at Christchurch hospital said they worked through the night in 12 operating theatres to do what they could to save the survivors.

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The court charged a second shooter, 18, with "intent to excite hostility or ill-will".

The attack came during Friday prayers when the mosques were filled with hundreds of worshippers. An officer stopped him.

'We just want to know if they are dead or alive, ' Mohammed told the officer.

A police commissioner said the additional death was discovered as bodies were being removed from the two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch. Another victim died later in Christchurch hospital. The country has historically had a low homicide rate.

"While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now: Our gun laws will change", she said at a press conference. In New Zealand, commentators also anxious that the horror would sow deep divisions in a society that has largely avoided the polarizations that have spread elsewhere.

The New Zealand premier was showered with huge praises internationally for the gesture, which made it clear that New Zealand stood by the Muslim community that was the centre of Friday's horrifying terror attacks rooted in racial as well as religious hatred.

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In online forums, people discussed Muslim food restrictions as they prepared to drop off meals for those affected.

Ardern, however, stopped short of suggesting New Zealand could implement a similar policy in the wake of the attacks in Christchurch.

Ms Ardern, who arrived in Christchurch Saturday, said the shooter was not on any watchlist and did not have a criminal record. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.

Tarrant, in his rambling manifesto, deemed Trump "a symbol of renewed white identity". The shock was exacerbated by the fact Tarrant livestreamed his actions from a camera mounted to his helmet, sparking anger at social media platforms and the length of time it took them to remove the videos.

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