New Zealand prime minister says shooting suspect was a licensed gun owner

  • New Zealand prime minister says shooting suspect was a licensed gun owner

New Zealand prime minister says shooting suspect was a licensed gun owner

He was living in Dunedin, a seaside city south of Christchurch, has traveled around the world and spent sporadic periods in New Zealand.

Ms Ardern has also vowed to toughen the country's gun laws after she said the attacker had used five firearms in the attack, including two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever action firearm.

New Zealand police closed the Christchurch court to the public over security concerns, but the media was able to attend.

"While some of our elected leaders sadly choose not to mention "Muslim" or "mosque" while denouncing the Christchurch attacks, the reality is that these horrific shootings and the Quebec City mosque attack on January 29, 2017, have left Canadian Muslim communities - and indeed, Muslims around the world - feeling very vulnerable and unsafe", wrote the Council's executive director Ihsaan Gardee.

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers. The remaining victim succumbed in hospital.

The dead were said to include women and children.

The survivors included 17 members of Bangladesh's cricket team, whose game against New Zealand on Saturday has been postponed, and a Palestinian man who fled for his life after seeing someone being shot in the head.

"At first we thought it was an electric shock but then all these people started running". "Some were covered in blood", he told AFP. We, New Zealand, we were not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate.

Before Friday's attack, New Zealand's deadliest shooting in modern history took place in the small town of Aramoana in 1990, when a gunman killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour.

Thursday's attacks are unprecedented in New Zealand, a country of 4.5 million people that prides itself on its social diversity. In Scotland, the shooting of 16 students and a teacher in March 1996 prompted the banning of private ownership of handguns in the United Kingdom, and after the Port Arthur massacre where 35 people were killed in a series of shootings, Austrailia enacted widespread tightening of gun laws.

CNN cites a 2015 study that reported New Zealand had an adjusted rate of about 1 gun death per 100,000 people, while in 2017, the United States has an adjusted rate of 12 gun deaths per 100,000 people.

"There were bodies all over", he said.

Tarrant grew up in Grafton in NSW and stated in a rambling 74-page "manifesto" posted online before the attack he had spent years planning in vengeance for deaths in Europe, before deciding on Christchurch three months ago.

Beyond that, the New Zealand Police noted in a separate release that in 20 years, from December 1998 to December 2018, there were a total of 15 murders committed by someone, who had a firearms license.

Christchurch, a relatively small city on New Zealand's south island, hit global headlines in 2011 when it was struck by a deadly natural disaster, killing more than 180 people.