Mass shootings at New Zealand mosques left at least 49 dead and dozens injured in an apparent white supremacist attack.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days” stated Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.”
A gunman opened fire on worshippers during Friday prayers at Masjid Al Noor mosque. A second shooting occurred at Linwood Masjid mosque. Four people were initially taken into custody after the shootings. One man was charged with murder and none were previously known to the police.
The main suspect is a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist. He published a long manifesto praising far-right mass killers including the shooter at a Black church in Charleston in 2015. The manifesto focuses on the idea of white “replacement,” echoing chants at a far-right rally in Charlottesville. He live-streamed the shooting to multiple social media platforms.
New Zealand’s Police Commissioner Mike Bush warned social media users not to view or share the video, saying “It shouldn’t be in the public domain, and we’re doing everything we can to remove it.”
World leaders have condemned the shooting like Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said the country was shocked, appalled and outraged by it.