New Zealand PM Vows to Change Gun Legislation After Christchurch Mosque Massacre

Evarado Alatorre
Marcha 17, 2019

An aircraft engineer, a takeaway store owner, a student pilot; details emerging of some of the 50 people gunned down at two New Zealand mosques paint a picture of dozens of ordinary lives suddenly and savagely ended. Tarrant, charged with one count of murder, will remain in custody until his next court appearance on April 5.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said that gun laws will be reformed after the attacks, as legislation allowed the suspect the legally obtain a semi-automatic weapon.

"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said.

She said the intent of the attack was to target a city and country that was well known for its safety. "He sat in his auto and with the shotgun in my hands, I threw it through his window like an arrow. He just swore at me and took off".

Tarrant was also purportedly inspired to commit the mosque shootings by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Oslo in 2011.

The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 after police found another body in one of the mosques. He said his mother, who was at the Linwood mosque with his father and brother, saw two people shot. Police said the alleged shooter was arrested in a auto, which was carrying improvised explosive devices, 36 minutes after they were first called. Some played guitar, sang and lit candles as darkness fell. On this occasion, that includes members of one of New Zealand's most notorious gangs.

Desperate for any news, families and friends of the victims gathered at the city's Hagley College, near the hospital.

Authorities have released a preliminary list of the victims to families to give closure to relatives, with Commissioner Bush confirming the process of returning bodies would start today.

Ardern said victims would be handed over to families from Sunday evening.

Others from the Middle East and Asia were also killed in the attack, according to foreign government reports.

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"The magnitude of this is the thing that is the most significant issue for people. It's just comprehending what is the incomprehensible".

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.

The youngest person missing and feared dead is three years old, Greenhill tells NPR's Weekend Edition.

At least 49 people were killed in Friday's attack.

Before Friday's attack, New Zealand's deadliest shooting in modern history took place in 1990 in the small town of Aramoana, where a gunman killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour.

"It was disturbing", she says.

Kuwait-born Atta Elayyan, a 33-year-old tech industry professional, who has recently become a father is also among the dead.

Ardern told the briefing that she had been contacted by Facebook operations chief Sheryl Sandberg who had acknowledged what had happened.

He also reached out to the Muslim community in Christchurch and in New Zealand. He was hoping semi-automatics were not banned, but he and his shooting friends were buying the weapons, which can cost anything from NZ$600 (US$400) upwards.

"Our gun laws will change".

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