New Zealand PM says 'gun laws will change' after mosque shooting

49 Dead In 'Terrorist Attack' At 2 Mosques In Christchurch, New Zealand

Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday after 49 people were killed and dozens wounded in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques.

Wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant appeared handcuffed and barefoot.

It was "reasonable to assume" Tarrant would face further murder charges, Judge Kellar said.

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

People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.

A suspect, described by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as an "extremist, right-wing" terrorist, has been arrested and charged with murder.

Ardern said the victims came from across the Muslim world, with Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia among the countries rendering consular assistance.

"I prayed for the families and the Muslim community and New Zealand as well, and even for those related to the attackers", he said.

None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia. It was, in the words of PM Ardern, "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Authorities were working to find out how he had obtained the weapons and a license, and how he was able to enter the country to carry out the attack, she said.

Service at a mosque in Gibsonia
Service at a mosque in Gibsonia

One person died in Christchurch hospital last night and staff are treating 42 patients, ranging from young children to adults, with gunshot wounds. The gunman spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with bullets again and again, sometimes re-firing at people he has already cut down.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who condemned the attack as a "horrible massacre", was praised by the accused gunman in a manifesto posted online as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

Throughout the hearing, Tarrant, who had a cut on his upper lip, remained silent and looked at the media persons in the public gallery.

Peneha, who lives next door, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway and fled. "I don't understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone".

Wahb noted that the attacker had written the name of the Quebec City mosque shooter on his weapon, "so that actually triggers the sad feeling and the sorrow of this tragedy that happened here because we actually experienced it with a city that is close by here".

She said the proposed reforms, which will be the focus of a cabinet meeting on Monday, will also focus on the ease with which legal weapons can be modified to become military-style assault rifles, which are more strictly controlled. After walking back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his vehicle, where the song "Fire" by English rock band "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" can be heard blasting from the speakers.

His manifesto was a welter of often politically contradictory views, touching on numerous most combustible issues of the day, among them the Second Amendment right to own guns, Muslim immigration, terrorist attacks and the wealthiest 1 per cent.

Yet the suspect himself highlighted New Zealand's remoteness as a reason he chose it.

According to gunpolicy.org, in 2017, the estimated rate of both registered and illicit private gun ownership in New Zealand per 100 people is 33.26.

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