Christchurch shootings: Attack suspect Brenton Tarrant appears in court | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

23 May, Thursday


Christchurch shootings: Attack suspect Brenton Tarrant appears in court

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The main suspect in the mosque shootings that killed 49 people in New Zealand on Friday has appeared in court on a single murder charge.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, appeared in the dock in a white prison shirt and handcuffs. Further charges are expected to be made against him.

PM Jacinda Ardern said Mr. Tarrant had five guns and a firearms license, adding: "Our gun laws will change."

Two others are in custody. None of those detained had a criminal record.

Mr. Tarrant was remanded in custody without plea and is due appear in court again on 5 April.

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, Ms. Ardern said that the guns used by the attacker appeared to have been modified and that the suspect's car was full of weapons, suggesting "his intention to continue with his attack".

The prime minister also spoke about the importance of reuniting relatives with their loved ones "as quickly as possible", and said that bodies were still being removed from the Al Noor mosque - the site of the first attack.

She added that financial support would be made available to those who had lost someone on whom they were financially dependent.

The first victim of Friday's attack has been named by his family as Daoud Nabi, 71, who moved to New Zealand from Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The identities of the other victims have not yet been released.

A total of 48 people were wounded in the shootings. Among those injured are two young boys - aged two and 13. Eleven of those being treated at Christchurch Hospital are in a critical condition in intensive care, chief of surgery Greg Robertson said.

BBC

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