New Zealand Shootings: Country Announces Sweeping Gun Law Reforms
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New Zealand prime minister says shooting suspect was a licensed gun owner
16 March 2019, 11:03 | Devin Moran
49 Dead In 'Terrorist Attack' At 2 Mosques In Christchurch, New Zealand
The shooting was live-streamed on Facebook, with the suspect killing 49 people and wounding more than 40 at two mosques before getting arrested by police.
At least 48 people were wounded, some critically.
"There were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack", she told reporters in Christchurch on Saturday.
The deadliest attack occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1:45 p.m., when 41 people were killed. Forty-one people were killed at one mosque, and seven people were killed at the second mosque. One more person died later at Christchurch Hospital.
Outside the court, the son of 71-year-old Afghan victim Daoud Nabi demanded justice for his late father, who believed New Zealand to be a "slice of paradise". "I thought I'm gone as well". He has not been publicly identified by officials.
At first, Mr Taylor and his colleagues had no idea what was happening, initially believing the alarms, sirens and general panic sweeping through the New Zealand city were signs of another quake, similar to the 6.2-level seismic disaster that destroyed massive swathes of the city in 2011.
The attack, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labelled as terrorism, was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand and the country had raised its security threat level to the highest. Ardern said she would be reviewing events leading up to the attack to see how the suspect went unnoticed by authorities. With a grim expression, she said the country seems to have been targeted because of its welcoming and tolerance.
The Anglican Diocese of Polynesia extended its "deepest sympathies to the Muslim community as you have once again, been a victim of this senseless act of violence resulting in the loss of life". "We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things".
Cook Islands prime minister Herny Puna said his country's prayers first and foremost were with the victims of the shooting, "their families, friends and loved ones whe are now faced with the irreconcilable loss of their loved ones". He claimed to represent Europeans and whites in a battle against immigrants, people he repeatedly described as "invaders".
A front page of New Zealand newspaper The Dominion Post reflected the sense of shock and grief: "End of innocence". "Nothing. That is not good enough for New Zealand".
He said he heard the gunman say: "F...ing Muslims we're going to kill you today". Regardless of whether terrorist attacks are perpetrated by white or Islamist extremists, their narratives must not be enabled through whataboutery.
Medical staff said 39 wounded people were being treated in hospitals, 11 in critical condition including a four-year-old girl.
"This individual has travelled around the world with sporadic periods of time spent in New Zealand", Ms Ardern said on Saturday.
Facebook, Twitter and Google scrambled to take down the gunman's video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the mass shooting.
He said words do matter because they provide a fertile ground for people to feel as though they're hateful ideologies are valid and it emboldens them to act out.
This is a developing story. "He stood there looking directly at the media in the courtroom and was smirking throughout his appearance", Thomas reported. He reportedly told the police he was acting in "self defense".
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