New Zealand Mosque Suspect Appears in Court

Chicago Muslim groups step up security after New Zealand mosque attacks

Attacks on the two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman - identified as an Australian extremist - apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the New Zealand city.

The firearms included two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon, she said, speaking to reporters in Wellington before heading to Christchurch. Forty-one were killed at the al-Noor mosque, while seven died at the Linwood mosque.

Like most developed countries, New Zealand has far stricter gun laws than the United States, where more than 50 shootings involving more than one victim have already taken place this year. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said more charges would be laid.

"The offender was in possession of a gun licence" obtained in November 2017, and he started purchasing the weapons the following month, she said.

In contrast, President Donald Trump has repeatedly told mourning Americans in the wake of shootings that stricter gun control would make the country more unsafe, not less.

Police said two other people were in custody.

Police said they were aware of a video shared online and broadcast live during the attack, which apparently showed a gunman walking into a mosque and opening fire.

While the main court proceedings will take place in New Zealand, there will be an investigation into Tarrant's background in Australia, according to Prime Minister Morrison.

"I want to send our condolences to those impacted by the heinous attacks in New Zealand", Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said in a statement released Friday.

Brenton Tarrant, one of the suspected shooters in the New Zealand mosque shootings, allegedly streamed the attack live on Facebook on March 15, 2019. Australia honoured the victims by lighting up some of the country's most famous landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House which projected the Silver Fern of New Zealand on its sails.

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.

Immigrants "have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home", Ardern said.

Tarrant appeared in a Christchurch District Court on Saturday and was remanded without a plea until his next scheduled appearance in the South Island city's High Court on April 5. "That work is already underway", she said.

"There is a dimming of enlightenment in many parts of the world", Parker said. "I was very happy to hear the Prime Minister's comments this morning that there will be a change in the gun law".

Mass shootings and violent crime are rare in New Zealand, a country of almost 5 million people.

Khokhur and husband Mehaboobbhai Khokhur had travelled from India to spend time with Imran, who dropped off his father at the Al Noor mosque on Friday and was looking for a parking space when the shooting began.



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