New Zealand’s worst mass shooting in modern history appears to be the act of a lone gunman who attacked worshippers at two mosques out of racial hatred.
The death toll from Friday’s massacre in the South Island city of Christchurch has risen to 50 after another victim was located at one of the crime scenes, police said on Sunday. One person has been charged with murder while three other people apprehended with firearms are not believed to be involved, they said.
“At this point, only one person has been charged in relation to these attacks,” Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters. “I will not be saying anything conclusive until we are absolutely convinced as to how many people were involved.”
Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday charged with one count of murder. He entered no plea and was remanded in custody until April 5. He is expected to face further charges, police said.
Ardern said yesterday that Tarrant spent “sporadic periods of time” in New Zealand and most recently lived in the southern city of Dunedin. He attended a local gym and was a member of the Bruce Rifle Club in the south Otago town of Milton, New Zealand media outlet Stuff reported.