'He leaped on someone to save them': Stories of Christchurch massacre victims

Leroy Wright
March 17, 2019

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.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed the suspect was involved in both shootings but stopped short of saying he was the sole gunman.

Two other people have been arrested in connection with the terror attack, and they remain in custody as police conduct an ongoing investigation as to their possible involvement.

The alleged shooter appeared in court amid strict security, shackled and wearing all-white prison garb, and showed no emotion when the judge read him one murder charge.

He was identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, reported CNN.

The youngest person missing and feared dead is three years old, Greenhill tells NPR's Weekend Edition.

It is understood that the killers of the terror attacks have legitimate gun license. But he said some people frustrated because "they want to get on with their grieving process". Afghanistan's embassy in Canberra named Nabi as one of two Afghans killed in the attack.

Tarrant was remanded into custody and is expected to appear in court again on April 5.

New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said he spoke to one of the Trustees of the Festival last night about the decision, and why it was made.

During the Saturday morning hearing, a man who was not in court was charged with using writings to incite hatred against a race or ethnicity, but it was not clear if his case was related to the mosque attacks.

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Mohamed Hassan, a journalist who lived in New Zealand for most of his life, says Muslims have been grieving alongside numerous other communities.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called the attack terrorism.

A second survivor, Faisal Sayed, said: "If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now".

Ardern said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who allegedly used five weapons, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which had been modified.

Ardern further differentiated herself from Trump's conduct following attacks on minority communities when she was asked whether she agreed with the president's assessment, shared on Friday, that white supremacy is not a growing global problem.

None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

The test was due to start at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday but the Bangladesh team left New Zealand less than 24 hours after the shooting and about an hour after the initial scheduled start time.

Pool via Getty Images Brenton Tarrant, charged in relation to the Christchurch massacre, is escorted in the courtroom Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand. Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country where levels of gun violence are low. "These acts of hate have no place in the diverse and tolerant society for which New Zealand is justly known", the White House statement said.

"As soon as New Zealanders hear that someone was legally able to acquire, as I'm advised, those weapons and carry out this event, that will raise enormous questions with our gun laws, and that is why we will respond swiftly", she explained.

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