New Zealand Charges Main Shooter in Mosque Attack with Murder

Brenton Harrison Tarrant has appeared in court. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Rabat – Prosecutors in Christchurch, New Zealand, charged Australian national Brenton Harrison Tarrant, identified as Friday’s mosque shooter, with murder on Saturday.

The 28-year-old, who appeared in court Saturday morning, will receive additional charges, said New Zealand authorities.

The court charged a second shooter, 18, with “intent to excite hostility or ill-will.”

Police had arrested four suspects after the terror attacks on Friday, March 15, but released one after confirming the individual had been in possession of a gun but was trying to assist police.

The Australian is the main suspect of the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch that left 49 people dead and at least 50 with injuries.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the suspect as an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist.”

According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the suspect had a firearms licence and owned five guns. She firmly added in a statement: “Our gun laws will change.”

The suspect will remain in custody without a plea and will appear in court again on April 5.

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The shooter had published a manifesto before committing the attack to explain his goal, describing himself as an “ordinary white man.”

He said he was “inspired” by Norway mass killer Anders Behring Breiving.

The suspect also documented the shooting through a live video on Facebook. Facebook has since taken down his account.

New Zealand officials have not yet released the names of the victims, but they published a list of those missing on the New Zealand Red Cross website.

The list includes people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

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