New Zealand shooting: Christchurch mosque terror attack suspect 'acted alone'

Jacinda Ardern said the gunman a 28-year-old Australian obtained a gun licence in November 2017 Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead on March 15 with one gunman- identified as an Australian extremist- apparently livestreaming

A Pittsburgh Jewish group is raising money for the victims of mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand as a show of gratitude for the previous generosity shown by Muslim groups.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the body of the 50th victim was found at the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 people died after a gunman entered and shot at people with a semi-automatic rifle with high-capacity magazines, before travelling to a second mosque. An eighth victim died at the hospital.

She added that the nationalities of the victims was not yet confirmed.

Dozens of Muslim supporters gathered at a center set up for victims, families and friends across the road from the hospital, where many had flown in from around New Zealand to offer support. Gunmen opened fire in two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday, killing 49 people and wounding 48 others.

Ms Ardern said he was being held in a specialist security facility.

"I haven't spoken to her directly but she has reached out, [and given] an acknowledgment of what has occurred here in New Zealand".

The prime minister that he would be charged and tried in New Zealand.

Tarrant did not have a criminal history and was not on any watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

His son, Hamza, who is about 16, was missing, and his son Zaid, who is about 13, is in Christchurch Hospital where he underwent a six-hour operation, Akil said.

Officials in New Zealand have not yet released the names of those killed or wounded, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that many of those "directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand" or even refugees.

Ardern confirmed that the suspected gunman had not been on the radar of any intelligence agencies for extremism
Feature: Terror suspect in New Zealand Christchurch mosques attack appears in court with heightened security - Xinhua | English.news.cn

"It was disturbing", she says. "Obviously by some of the recipients, but not at a time prior to the attack", Commissioner Bush said.

"We understand these procedures take time".

She said the intent of the attack was to target a city and country that was well known for its safety. "That obviously leads to an Australian-based investigation and all of our inquiries here will be absolutely shared and communicated with New Zealand authorities".

"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".

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters on Saturday, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.

To carry out his attack, Tarrant, who first acquired a gun license in 2017, used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

He has so far been charged with one count of murder, although judge Paul Kellar said it's "reasonable to assume" that more charges will follow, after yesterday's deadly shooting.

A fourth person was arrested yesterday in the wake of the shootings, but has been released without charge.

Unlike the USA, the right to own a firearm is not enshrined in New Zealand's constitution. "New Zealand is home for all of us, and this despicable act will not change that feeling of closeness in us".

"Fijian hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand - a place where an atrocity of this nature is shocking nearly beyond comprehension".

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