Jacinda Ardern says suspect in Christchurch attack meant to continue attack

Blanche Robertson
March 17, 2019

Brenton Tarrant is seen in the dock during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court on Saturday.

His sister-in-law, Naema Khan, told New Zealand news website, Stuff, that video footage of the shooting which was documented live, showed Rashid trying to stop the gunman.

Investigators found the victim while removing bodies from the Al Noor mosque where more than 40 people were killed as a gunman stormed the mosque and went on a shooting rampage on Friday, Police Commissioner Mike Bush told a press conference.

In online forums, people discussed Muslim food restrictions as they prepared to drop off meals for those affected. "Police will continue to maintain a presence at all Mosques across New Zealand", New Zealand Police tweeted on Sunday.

Residents pay their respects by placing flowers for the victims of the mosques attacks in Christchurch.

"Love always wins over hate. We pray for all New Zealanders and our muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world".

The shootings have raised new questions about violence being disseminated online.

Fifty people were killed and 50 injured in what is New Zealand's worst attack.

Mosques across New Zealand were opened on Sunday but police are maintaining a strict vigil and the premises will have an armed presence.

Asked if he forgave the 28-year-old suspect, he said: "Of course". An officer stopped him.

"I wish with everything in my heart she hadn't had to, but I am proud that she did".

Commissioner Bush said authorities were working as fast as they could to finish formally identifying the victims of the attacks at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. I still can't understand or believe why and how this happened.

Golden Tate receiving interest from several teams including the Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate (19) warms up before action against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Tate acknowledged the signing on Twitter, tweeting an image of the "I love New York" logo and making it his new profile picture.

Speaking to journalists, Jacinda Ardern also confirmed that a total of 50 people died in the attack on Christchurch mosques, while 34 remain in the hospital.

Greg Robertson, head of surgery at Christchurch Hospital said staff were used to gunshots and other severe injuries, but the scale and nature of the attacks was different.

Nearby, Akhtar Khokhur leaned on the shoulders of her friend and cried as she held up her cellphone with an image of her husband. But, I know that my husband is a hero. The couple was due to fly out Sunday.

"Very, very heartbroken and very, very tough times for us", he said about the loss.

All injured are undergoing treatment at Christchurch Hospital. But he said some people frustrated because "they want to get on with their grieving process".

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

She said the intent of the attack was to target a city and country that was well known for its safety. The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons.

Ms Ardern said the guns used by the attacker appeared to have been modified, and that the suspect's vehicle was full of weapons, suggesting "his intention to continue with his attack". But they also noted that little had been accomplished, and called out Ms Ardern for pulling her punches and making slow progress.

The father-of-five, a retired engineer, had moved to New Zealand from Afghanistan in 1977, becoming one of the first Muslims in the country.

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said he spoke to one of the Trustees of the Festival last night about the decision, and why it was made. In 2015, it had just eight.

The cabinet will also hear from intelligence agencies about how a self-avowed fascist legally purchased and trained to use two semi-automatic weapons, reportedly AR-15s, two shotguns and a lever-action gun without drawing the attention of the authorities.

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