Sports cancelled as traumatised New Zealand mourns shooting victims

Sports cancelled as traumatised New Zealand mourns shooting victims

Kerry Wise
March 17, 2019

The massacre during Friday prayers prompted a heartfelt response from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who pronounced it "one of New Zealand's darkest days" and said the shooter, an Australian native, had chosen to strike in New Zealand "because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion".

"There were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, according to ABC57.

Most of the dead were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, before gunfire broke out at Linwood Masjid six kilometres away.

Speaking to the Indian Express, Ehsan's father Mohammed Sayeeduddin said, "Authorities at one hospital where injured are admitted told her [Ehsan's wife] that he was not there".

"A category-A firearm holder can purchase the firearms without the magazines or the things that will enable them to be in the state that they were", New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush told reporters, according to the Guardian.

The shooter live-streamed the assault on Facebook.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the tragedy as a "terrorist attack" and noted numerous victims could be migrants or refugees.

The group of politicians, at the request of the community leaders, also visited Hagley College to visit families and loved ones of those who had lost their lives.

Tarrant's occupation was not given on the charging document, and his address was provided as a place in Dunedin, more than 300 km south of Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island.

Police also arrested a couple at a roadblock. A fourth person detained in the aftermath of the attack was later determined to be an armed bystander who wanted to help police.

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"It's the time for change", said Ardern.

The suspect will remain in custody without a plea and will appear in court again on April 5.

She further said that this act of terror was "not New Zealand".

"This is always the biggest fixture on our match calendar and one which our fans look forward to", said Clark, who would have been expecting a crowd of some 20,000.

"After consulting widely with both teams and key stakeholders, New Zealand Rugby has made a decision to cancel this evening's match", the statement read.

Mr Taylor, 27, left Aberdeen to travel to New Zealand as part of a trip to see more of the world.

Another victim of the Christchurch mosque attacks tried to wrestle the gunman's weapon off him in a desperate bid to save others, it has emerged.

Officials said that he had no criminal history in New Zealand or Australia and, as with the other two peolpe detained in connection with the attack, had not drawn the attention of the intelligence community for extremist views.

"For them to come to what they thought was a safe country and end up facing a shocking incident like this is really sad to hear", says Mark Greenhill, news director for New Zealand's news website Stuff.

Until Friday, the country's worst mass shooting was in 1990, when a lone gunman killed 13 people in the small town of Aramoana.