Alleged mosque shooter was armed to kill even more people

Lester Mason
March 17, 2019

Abdikina Ali-Hassarn and his family moved to New Zealand from Somalia four years ago and were regular worshippers at the Linwood mosque.

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The statement added that a range of activities must be completed before names can be released publicly, "this includes next of kin notifications, which, in many cases, will have worldwide aspects to them".

Police said the suspect took seven minutes to travel to the second mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven people were killed.

The mosque shooter had held a gun license since 2017 and used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and a lever-action firearm in the attack. There was no reason for anyone to purchase them besides "looking cool", said Rick, who hunts deer.

People have also been laying flowers outside of mosques in other parts of New Zealand in solidarity with the victims and their famlies.

Officers arrested two others following the attacks and are now working to establish whether they had any involvement in the terror attacks against the Muslim community in New Zealand.

He said he survived by playing dead, but was desperate to know what happened to his friends who were there with him.

Australian man Brenton Tarrant remains the only person to be charged with murder over the Christchurch mosques massacre that has claimed the lives of 50 people.

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

None of those arrested had a criminal history or was on any watchlist in New Zealand or Australia.

Some of the victims have survived civil wars in their home countries, only to die in one of the quietest countries at the other end of the world. She also says New Zealand will make "weekly compensation" available to victims' dependents on an ongoing basis.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters on Saturday, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.

We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.

New Zealand has tried to tighten laws before but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied efforts.

"We can not be deterred from the work that we need to do on our gun laws", Ardern said.

The alleged shooter appeared in court amid strict security, shackled and wearing all-white prison garb, and showed no emotion when the judge read him one murder charge.

He also reached out to the Muslim community in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

Imran had dropped off his father, an electrical engineer, at the Al Noor mosque on Friday and was looking for a parking space when the shooting began.

Described by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist", Tarrant's manifesto made it clear that the gunman posited himself as something different: "just a regular white man".

"This act of terror was brought to our shores and rained down upon us".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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