Accused New Zealand mosque shooter makes first court appearance

Accused New Zealand mosque shooter makes first court appearance

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.

Ardern said the suspect traveled around the world and was in New Zealand sporadically.

Mosque worker Abdul Aziz risked his own life to challenge the gunman and try to snatch his weapon, according to attack survivor Syed Mazharuddin.

Muath Elayyan, Mohammed's brother, told the Associated Press his brother helped establish the mosque a year after arriving in New Zealand, where he teaches engineering at a university and runs a consultancy.

"I just hope after returning home we can overcome it with the passing of time". "He enjoyed freedom there and never complained about anything", Muath said.

Over the weekend Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza held vigils to honor the victims of the massacre, in which 49 people were killed.

Images captured by media outlets during that court appearance are being published blurred or pixellated due to an order from the judge who presided over Tarrant's hearing, The New Zealand Herald reports.

The video footage showed a man driving to the mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people present inside.

Meantime, Survivors of the deadly mosque shooting said the death toll may have been much higher without the quick thinking of one man.

Another of Daoud's sons, Yama, was on the way to the mosque - to make up with his father after a small falling out - when he bumped into a friend outside who told him "your father saved my life".

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The suspect, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, appeared in court Saturday, charged with one count of murder.

Authorities declined to discuss potential motives for the attack.

Officers said they were trying to track the vehicle and described the suspects as white men believed in their 20s. At least 50 people have been confirmed killed as a result of the terror attacks at three locations in the east coast city of Christchurch.

Mr Morrison said he has been in contact with Ms Ardern, and that Australian agencies are working with New Zealand authorities.

The gunman had posted a jumbled, 74-page manifesto on social media in which he identified himself as an Australian and white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

He is one of three people arrested in connection with the shooting; and while the other two remain in custody, their role remains unclear. He had no criminal history in New Zealand or Australia and had not drawn the attention of the intelligence community for extremist views.

The shooter, who had a gun license acquired in November 2017, carried out the killings with two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm, Ardern said.

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Arden has vowed to change the country's gun laws in the wake of the shooting spree that stunned the world.

"Charges have been laid, we can expect additional charges will be appearing in the high court on the fifth of April, so there is obviously a process that needs to be gone through here", she said.

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