In New Zealand, at least 49 people have died, and dozens have been hospitalized with gunshot wounds, after a gunman attacked two mosques in the city of Christchurch during Friday prayers. It was the deadliest shooting in New Zealand’s history. Police have arrested and charged a 28-year-old Australian man named Brenton Tarrant, who is described by authorities as a right-wing extremist. Tarrant live-streamed the attack on Facebook and published a manifesto in which he praised President Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Three other people—two men and one woman—were detained nearby, but at least one of them has already been released. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the massacre a terrorist attack and said it was one of her country’s darkest days.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: “Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand.”
The entire city of Christchurch was placed on lockdown, with residents told to shelter in place. Authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility of other suspects, and asked people not to attend mosques across New Zealand today out of fear of another attack. We’ll have more on the unfolding tragedy in New Zealand after headlines.