Several gunmen opened fire at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday afternoon, leaving 50 people dead.
• New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as one of her country’s “darkest days”
• An Australian citizen in his late 20s appeared in court Saturday, charged with murder
• Two others were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the shootings
• Suspect reportedly uses modified semi-automatic weapons
• Major social media remove shooting video of terror attacks
The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 on Sunday after police found another victim at one of the m
osques, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said bodies of those killed would begin to be released to families for burial.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant w
as remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.
Friday’s attack, which Ardern labeled as terrorism, was the worst ever peacetime m
ass killing in New Zealand and the country had raised its security threat level to the highest.
Earlier on Saturday, Ardern said the country’s gun law would be changed.
She spoke to the public at 4:00 pm local time. She said: “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. My thoughts are with Christchurch.”
”It is an unprecedented violence in New Zealand. There is no place for such extreme violence in New Zealand.”
”Our gun law will be changed,” said Ardern, noting that the killers had a legitimate gun license.
Five guns were discovered, two of which were semi-automatic guns, she said.
Other weapons and firearms were also retrieved by the police after the attacks on Friday.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush told another press conference that his top priority wa
s on public safety across New Zealand and was supporting the victims and staff involved.
”The investigation into the intelligence failures is also a priority,” Bush said.
The police chief was joined by representatives from the agencies working on t
he ground — Victim’s Support, City Council, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency and the Defence Force.
Bush acknowledged the bravery of the public, police officers and emergency responders.
He said the arrest took 36 minutes from the first emergency call.
A total of 49 people were killed in the mosque attacks on Friday. The massacre has stunned residents, not just because it happen
ed there but also because it was planned to show the world that even the most peaceful places are not immune to terror.
Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with one count of murder. Two other peo
ple remain in police custody. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
Khan wasn’t the only member of his family touched by the shootings. A few blocks away
, at the Al Noor mosque, Khan’s uncle is believed to be one of 41 people gunned down there while praying.
On Saturday, families waited patiently as officials worked to identify bodies. Yet while confirmation will bring some closure, questio
ns will linger as to how such a horrifying event can happen in a country many consider safe.
”We felt it was such a safe city, such a safe country,” a 30-year-
old construction project manager, who did not want to be named, told CNN. “The hatred has spread everywhere.”
months on how the petition has been processed, according to the SPP.
Prosecuting authorities have been treating the protection of human rights as being as important as fighting crime, Zhang said.
“Our work is based on facts and laws as well as the principle of ‘no one is let off, no one is wronged’,” he said.
Last year, prosecutors turned down police requests to formally arrest
168,458 people and dropped charges against 34,398 others — up by 15.9 percent and 14.1
percent year-on-year — because of insufficient evidence or because their actions did not constitute a crime.
“Even one wrongful case is too much,” Zhang said, adding that prosecutors will make consist
ent efforts to prevent wrongful cases and make timely rectification once such a case is detected.
“We should be responsible to the law, history and the people,” he said.