PM statement on the New Zealand attack: 15 March 2019
- Author: Jon Douglas Mar 17, 2019,
Mar 17, 2019, 0:42
The main suspect in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques was charged with one count of murder a day after an attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens, prompting the prime minister to vow reform of the country's gun laws.
"There is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others", the judge was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Word of the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand - killing 49 people during Friday prayers - had already become common knowledge to most in attendance at Windsor Mosque on Northwood Street.
Ardern said 30 people were killed at the Al Noor mosque, the city's main mosque, and another 10 at a mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
"There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence", Ardern said.
He said he heard the gunman say: "F...ing Muslims we're going to kill you today".
A Jordanian man, who did not want to be named, said he moved to New Zealand seven years ago because it was a safe place to raise his children.
"I think everyone in the community is 100 percent in support of the Muslim community and the Muslim families who have lost their loved ones".
She said: "New Zealanders will question how someone can come into being in possession of weapons of this nature".
Ardern, wearing a black headscarf, met with survivors and victims' families Saturday at a college which has become an information centre for those affected by the tragedy. Indeed, the writer claims to have had "brief contact" with Breivik, who he says gave his "blessing" to the Christchurch attack.
For many, the road to recovery will require multiple surgical procedures and many survivors said the mental scars may never fully heal.
Imran had dropped off his father, an electrical engineer, at the Al Noor mosque on Friday and was looking for a parking space when the shooting began.
Authorities have not specified who they detained, but said none had been on any watch list.
Two of the guns were semi-automatic weapons and two were shotguns, she said, before telling media members that the attack would have an impact on gun laws in the country.
Police also found improvised explosive devices attached to two vehicles outside of one of the mosques.
In gruesome video footage, which The Post is not publishing, the attacker approaches the entrance to the mosque and raises his weapon.
Two other people have been arrested in connection with the terror attack, and they remain in custody as police conduct an ongoing investigation as to their possible involvement.
He said New Zealand, with a population of just under 5 million, had an estimated 1.5 million firearms.
Facebook and other social media that carried the video struggled to purge it from their networks, earning rebukes from the public and industry experts for not acting swiftly enough. He had no criminal history in New Zealand or Australia, and had not drawn the attention of the intelligence community for extremist views.