Rural cops brought down Christchurch massacre accused: PM

17 March, 2019, 00:40 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • The man charged in relation to the Christchurch massacre Brenton Tarrant gestures in the dock for his appearance for mur

A day after he gunned down 49 people who were attending Friday prayers in two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand, the main suspect Brenton Harrison Tarrant was charged with one count of murder Saturday.

New Zealand's prime minister vowed Saturday to toughen the country's gun laws after revealing the alleged shooter behind Christchurch's mosque attacks had legally bought the five weapons, including two semi-automatic rifles, used in the massacre.

The massacre left 41 at the Al Noor Mosque dead before the suspect journeyed to the Linwood Avenue Mosque where he killed another seven victims, one more later died in hospital.

More than 40 people are still being treated in hospital for injuries, including a 4-year-old child, after the terror attack, thought to be the deadliest directed against Muslims in the West in modern times.

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.

In contrast, President Donald Trump has repeatedly told mourning Americans in the wake of shootings that stricter gun control would make the country more unsafe, not less. Gunmen opened fire in two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday, killing 49 people and wounding 48 others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday wrote to his New Zealand counterpart expressing his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims.

"What I can say is that an 18-year- old man will appear in court on Monday but that arrest was tangential to this matter and we do not believe that he was involved in this attack either", Mr Bush said. "In response to the attacks in New Zealand, we have a heightened police presence in the community focusing on places of worship - especially mosques", police said in a statement.


"The offender was mobile, there were two other firearms in the vehicle the offender was in", Ardern said. Flanked by two police officers, he smirked when media persons photographed him during the hearing and was seen making the white power gesture.

The suspect was remanded in custody and will reappear in court April 5.

Her father Waseem, 33, the brother of Mr Daraghmeh, is said to be in a stable condition.

Following the attack, mosques around the country remain closed until further notice.

She was yet to meet the officers, but had asked after them while meeting with police bosses in Christchurch today and requested that they pass on the "thanks of all New Zealanders".

When speaking to reporters later, Aziz said he wasn't the one that deserves credit for his quick thinking. In fact, for many, New Zealand was a choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to, the place they were raising their families, where they were part of communities they loved and who loved them.

The Canterbury cricket team, one of six first-class sides in New Zealand's domestic Plunket Shield competition, also chose not to play their final round match in Wellington, which handed the title to Central Districts.

"I think its fairly obvious what that is", Lemon said.

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