In the wake of New Zealand’s Christchurch terror attack, 28-year-old suspected as Brenton Harrison Tarrant was charged with one count of murder on Saturday. He will be remanded in custody without plea until April 5.
The attacker, live streamed for about 17 minutes from his rampage towards the two mosques, Harrison the suspected is an Australian-born citizen and is a resident of Dunedin situated around 360 km south of Christchurch.
Reportedly, in the courtroom, the suspect appeared in white prison clothes, barefoot and handcuffed, flanked by two police officers, he smirked when media persons photographed him during the hearing and were seen making the white power gesture.
Throughout the hearing, Brenton Tarrant, who had a cut on his upper lip, remained silent and looked at the media persons in the public gallery.
Whereas, NZ PM Jacinda Ardern addressed the media on Friday and said migrants and refugees could have been caught up in the attack.
"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days... There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence."— CNN International (@cnni) March 15, 2019
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden speaks after Christchurch mass shooting - live updates: https://t.co/CLdzBLwimp pic.twitter.com/8Tdk8MBULp
Brenton Tarrant is accused of murdering a man, whose name was suppressed by Judge Paul Kellar on grounds of undue hardship to his family, according to reports.
It was "reasonable to assume" Brenton Tarrant would face further murder charges, Judge Kellar said. Duty lawyer Richard Peters made it clear during the hearing that no bail application would be made.
New Zealand Police department also tweeted and stated
Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
3/5 We urge New Zealanders to stay vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111. We are mobilising resources nationally and support is being brought into the District. We are still working to resolve this incident and we continue to urge Christchurch...— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
In the worst ever terror attack in New Zealand, multiple gunmen carried out indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during the Friday prayers, leaving 49 people dead and at least 48 wounded, besides giving a scare to the Bangladesh cricket team which had a narrow escape.
Using automatic weapons, the gunmen, four of who were initially taken into custody, launched a "well-planned" attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers.
Earlier today, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed that gun laws "will change" in the wake of the worst terror attacks in the country's history.
She also confirmed that the suspect was a resident of Dunedin and was not based in Christchurch. She said that investigations were initiated to assess whether the remaining two accused arrested were directly involved in the attack.
Jacinda Ardern also confirmed that the fourth person was released.
"The fourth person who was arrested yesterday was a member of the public who was in a possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police," she told reporters in Wellington.
Underlining that the "time has come for change", Jacinda Ardern said that five guns were used by the perpetrator, including two semi-automatic weapons, and two shotguns.
"The offender was in possession of a gun license," she said, adding that the guns were purchased in December last year.
"While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now; our gun laws will change," the New Zealand premier outlined.
The Prime Minister stated that none of the accused arrested had a criminal history both in Australia and New Zealand.
According to the police, 41 people were killed at Al Noor mosque and seven at Linwood mosque while one injured died in a hospital.
Several guns have been recovered from both mosques, while, two explosive devices were found on two vehicles at the scene, one of which was defused, the police confirmed.
Condemning the terror strike, Jacinda Ardern had described it as a terror attack and said it appears to have been well planned. She asserted that New Zealand will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.
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