New Zealand mass shooting suspect charged with murder

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court charged with the murder of 49 people

There was no weekend vim and bustle in Christchurch on Saturday.

Canadian Muslims have expressed their sadness and shock at the shooting deaths of 49 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand.

Many people in the diverse city have ties to the community that stretch back generations.

He added that one of his friends had died of his injuries and another is still in hospital. Children are among them.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared in court amid strict security, shackled and wearing all-white prison garb, and showed no emotion when the judge read him one murder charge.

Tarrant was then seen making an OK gesture - a symbol which has been used by white supremacists. Assault rifles used in the massacre were daubed with the names of notorious killers of immigrants. He has been charged with one count of murder.

Two other people were in custody and police said they were working to understand their involvement.

Worshipers ran from gunfire, desperately called police and huddled beneath the benches of two Christchurch mosques before two lightly armed community police officers apparently ran the gunman's vehicle to the side of the road and brought the atrocity to an end after a terrifying 36 minutes.

Of the 49 victims, only a small number have so far been identified.

There was a heavy police presence at the hospital where families of the wounded had gathered.

Peneha, who lives next door to the mosque, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway, and fled.

Benabdallah told reporters Friday in Quebec City those who suffered through the 2017 attack are now reeling again.

"He loves New Zealand".

"Thank you. for always helping us feel safe and secure", Frank Scarpitti wrote in a tweet.

Fear lies at the heart of all terrorism.

Tarrant wrote of Muslims as "invaders", and defined the goal of his attack as "to show the invaders that our land will never be their land", and that "our homeland" will remain as long as white people survive.

"This is a sad day for the Muslim population and all residents of New Zealand", he said in a statement.

That was demonstrated in high definition.

Most of those killed were worshiping at Al Noor Mosque when the gunman entered, killing at least 41 people.

Facebook, Twitter and Google scrambled to take down the gunman's video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the bloodbath.

John Donohue, a law professor at Stanford University, concurred and said that previous arguments against gun control that relied on New Zealand's low rate of gun violence have been wiped away by the mosque attacks.

Police in Tarrant's home state of New South Wales said they had spoken to his family, who called police after seeing the attacks reported on the news.

"The offender was in possession of a gun licence", she said, adding that the guns were purchased in December a year ago. She has called it "the right thing to do". Tarrant has spent little time in Australia in the past four years and only had minor traffic infractions on his record.

Tarrant's manifesto, which decries a "white genocide", had clear echoes of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people including schoolchildren attending a summer camp in 2011.

The suspect, who is an Australian citizen, was living in the southern city of Dunedin, about 225 miles from Christchurch, at the time of the attack, Ardern said. He said he was not a member of any organization, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack. "'How are you feeling?' 'How is your family?' 'How is your Muslim community there in St. Louis?'"

Players and members of the team's coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting broke out.

"At just that moment, there was one young guy who usually takes care of the mosque and helps with parking and other stuff, so (the man) saw an opportunity and he pounced over to him and grabbed his gun". "It's pretty bad that all those people got shot, but what if they had done it to us first?"

Still, in Christchurch on Saturday, local people refused to be warped by hate, bunkering down in their multicultural identity. TIME spoke with Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims all desperate not to let this tragedy redefine who they are.



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