Death Toll Rises to 50 in New Zealand Mosque Shootings
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced the latest death in a news conference. He says 36 victims remain hospitalized, with two of them in critical condition.
New Zealand police say a 50th victim of the mosque attacks in Christchurch has died.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced the latest death in a news conference Sunday. He says 36 victims remain hospitalized, with two of them in critical condition.
Bush also said that two people arrested around the time suspect Brenton Harrison Tarrant was apprehended are not believed to have been involved in the attacks on two mosques Friday.
He says one of those people has been released and the other has been charged with firearms offenses.
Tarrant is 28 and was arraigned Saturday on the first of many expected murder charges.
He's accused of killing 41 people at one mosque and seven more at a second. Two victims died later while hospitalized.
People across New Zealand are reaching out to Muslims in their communities and around the country.
As a 28-year-old white supremacist stood silently before a judge on Saturday, New Zealanders everywhere volunteered acts of kindness. Some offered rides to the grocery store or volunteered to walk with their Muslim neighbors if they felt unsafe.
In other online forums, people discussed Muslim food restrictions as they prepared to drop off meals for those affected.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared in court amid strict security and showed no emotion when the judge read him one murder charge. The judge said more such charges would likely follow.
Friday's killing was streamed live on Facebook and took place during midday prayers.
Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, the suspect arrested and charged with murder for the mass-shooting attacks in Christchurch, claimed other individuals were planning additional attacks on mosques in New Zealand, law enforcement official tells CBS News https://t.co/0jiOGMOoLZ pic.twitter.com/E8WxX01QXA— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 15, 2019
We send our condolences & prayers to the families of those who perished in the horrific mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. We condemn this attack on people of faith in the strongest terms. America stands with @JacindaArdern & the people of New Zealand. God be with you— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 15, 2019
In the wake of this violent act of hatred, which appears to be rooted in Islamophobia, I want to send a clear message to Nevada’s Muslim community: you are welcome here. On behalf of all Nevadans, we stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters today, and every day. https://t.co/YdliAkXCle— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) March 15, 2019
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the national security threat level has been lifted from low to high after the deadly shootings.
The security threat level is now at the second-highest level. She said authorities had no reason to believe there were more suspects, but "we are not assuming that at this stage."
Ardern said, "These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand."
Police earlier said four people were taken into custody, and one has been identified as Australian.
Ardern said in a news conference, "It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack. From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned."
Witness Len Peneha says he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived.
Peneha says he went into the mosque to try and help: "I saw dead people everywhere."
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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