PM statement on the New Zealand attack: 15 March 2019

Esequiel Farfan
Marcha 16, 2019

Police have arrested four people following attacks that took place in two Muslim places of worship in Christchurch on Friday afternoon (local time). The attacker has not been named, but Australia's prime minister said he was an Australian citizen and described him as an "extremist right-wing violent terrorist".

In the video, dozens appeared to be wounded or deceased, with reports circulating that a gunman opened fire at another Christchurch mosque.

Unlike in the United States, where calls for greater gun control after mass shootings are often met by deaf ears when it comes to federal regulation, three mass shootings - only one of which happened in New Zealand - prompted legislative changes. Forty-one people were killed at one mosque, and seven people were killed at the second mosque. "I know there is a name within the public domain but it would be improper for me now to confirm that because a person has been charged", the police commissioner said during the press conference.

Calling Friday one of the country's "darkest days", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a "well-planned terrorist attack".

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Relief groups like the New Zealand Red Cross are already helping the community register missing persons, connect with loved ones, or mark themselves safe.

"Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch..."

Beyond that, the New Zealand Police noted in a separate release that in 20 years, from December 1998 to December 2018, there were a total of 15 murders committed by someone, who had a firearms license.

Two other suspects remain in custody, and police are still trying to "build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event".

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