One New Zealand man has been arrested after a rampage through two mosques that left 49 dead and another 40 wounded on Friday.
According to the Associated Press:
Christchurch New Zealand (AP) — Bangladesh’s honorary consul in Auckland, New Zealand, says three Bangladeshis were killed in Friday’s mosque attacks in Christchurch and at least four others were injured. Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan says “so far” three Bangladeshis are among the 49 people killed in the shootings. He said two of the injured Bangladeshis are in critical condition.
President Donald Trump immediately issued his condolences for the victims saying, “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
The killer reportedly broadcast his attacks on Facebook Live.
Here is a screenshot said to be of the killer:
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) March 15, 2019
Breitbart News reported:
A video posted online shows the gunman, who appears to be a white man in his thirties, driving into an alley near the first mosque and retrieving several rifles in succession from the trunk of his car, along with several extra clips of ammunition. Each of the rifles is scrawled with white writing.
In the footage, which Breitbart News will not post, the gunman approaches the door of the mosque and shoots the people standing there. He then enters the mosque and shoots people in the hallway and in the prayer area. As people duck for cover and try to escape, or huddle together for protection, he shoots them repeatedly. He then returns to his car, retrieves another rifle, and returns, shooting into the pile of bodies and then leaving. He also fires down the street; as he drives away, he is seen firing shots from the car, though the targets are unclear.
A Twitter profile under the name “Brenton Tarrant” posted a manifesto, as well as several close-up shots of what appear to be the rifles used in the attack, where the white writing is more legible. It appears to contain anti-migrant statements. The manifesto itself is an ideological hodgepodge, from socialism to white supremacy to environmentalism. He identifies himself as a fascist and talks about a racial war in the U.S.
New Zealand has restrictive gun laws, of the sort proposed by gun control advocates in the United States.
It also appears that one citizen returned fire against the killer.
Ryan Saavedra found one note about the incident in news coverage:
BREAKING: The New Zealand Herald reports that the shooting at the second mosque was stopped by an armed Muslim who "chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off." pic.twitter.com/BA2FzsXq2d
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 15, 2019
The shooter identified as Brenton Tarrant, has posted numerous social media posts variously claiming to be a socialist, a nationalist, a fascist, and a white supremacist. He even once posted that “Thank God Conservatism is dead.”
In many ways it appears that his social media posts are meant to troll, so the killer’s real motives are hard to figure at this point.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.