Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

New Zealand Shooting Suspect Briefly Appears in Court

New Zealand Shooting Suspect Briefly Appears in Court

A lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 at two Christchurch mosques on Friday in a shooting which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as "a terrorist attack".

Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, was apprehended 36 minutes after the first call, the prime minister revealed as she praised the two rural community policemen from Lincoln, a small town 22km southwest of Christchurch, who responded to the emergency. He has been remanded in custody until April 5 and police have said more charges are likely to follow.

Two other people have been apprehended and are being questioned about what role, if any, they had in the attacks. "There are obviously questions being asked of how this person was able to enter the country and undertake this act of terror", the premier said. After the visit, Ardern travelled to a hospital at which 39 people are being treated from injuries. One victim posted a Facebook video from his hospital bed, asking for prayers for himself, his son and daughter. "Forgiving is going to take time", Omar Nabi, whose father Haji Daoud Nabi was gunned down, told reporters outside the Christchurch court.

"This is not the New Zealand that has welcomed them and that it is not a reflection of the New Zealand they know, and that sentiment came through very strongly".

They included Asif Shaikh, 44, who said he was among more than 100 people at the Al Noor mosque when the attacker came in. Men and women from the New Zealand Muslim Association in Auckland flew to Christchurch to assist with the funeral rites, washing the bodies, wrapping them in white cloth and taking them to the cemetery.

For an Islamic funeral burial is traditionally within 24 hours of death. "I will keep watch while you pray".

The Crusaders are the defending champions in Super Rugby, a competition that involves teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Argentina. There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence.

Suspect In New Zealand Mosque Attack Appears In Court
New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts. Rivlin wrote that the "murder of people at prayer, in their most holy and sacred place, is a depraved and despicable act".

The judge briefed the media before the hearing, saying videos and photographs were only released by approved New Zealand media outlets including TVNZ and RNZ.

An Aberdeen man who fled for his life after chaos erupted all around him in the wake of the New Zealand terrorist attack said he fell into a "complete panic" soon after the shooting began.

Military-style semi-automatic rifles, banned in neighboring Australia, are permitted in New Zealand but must be registered. "Are there associates in the United States?"

Replies to the tweet questioned why the Conservative Party leader hadn't mentioned the word "Muslim" in his condemnation of the attack.

Ms Ardern, who arrived in Christchurch Saturday, said the shooter was not on any watchlist and did not have a criminal record.

Actress Mia Farrow replied: "The hatred you stoke against Muslims, against immigrants, against the press, against 'others"- your reluctance to condemn white supremacy and your utter lack of moral leadership, leads to the horrors New Zealand is now enduring.

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