Accused New Zealand mosque shooter makes first court appearance

Kim Kardashian applauded New Zealand’s lawmakers for proposing to change the country’s gun laws following the mosque shootings that left at least 49 people dead

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder in relation to the massacre on Friday, in which 49 people were killed and 42 injured.

Wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, the Australia-born former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist sat impassively as the judge read the charge against him.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush on Sunday told reporters four other people arrested during Friday's police operation attack have either been released or charged with "tangential" offences.

"Rhetoric of racism, division and extremism has no place not only in New Zealand but I would say in a society as a whole".

Ms Ardern has been fulsome in her praise of police officers and emergency services, as well as defence specialists for defusing improvised explosive devices.

New Zealand has raised its security threat level to the highest.

The shooter live-streamed the assault on Facebook.

After Tarrant left, the judge said that while "there is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others".

TESSA BURROWS via Getty ImagesResidents pay respect by placing flowers for the victims of the mosques attacks in Christchurch on Saturday.

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Of those killed in the massacre, 41 died at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue in central Christchurch, seven were killed at the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque, and one person died at Christchurch Hospital.

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

A total of 36 people - two critical - remain in Christchurch Hospital, while a young girl is in Auckland's Starship children's hospital. "That obviously leads to an Australian-based investigation and all of our inquiries here will be absolutely shared and communicated with New Zealand authorities".

"She was engaged, she was concerned, she knew what to say", one of the attendees said.

"I still don't know where he is", she said.

"I can tell you right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern said.

"Fijian hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand - a place where an atrocity of this nature is shocking nearly beyond comprehension". There are an estimated 1.5 million firearms in New Zealand, which has a population of only five million, but the country has had low levels of gun violence. Several New Zealand politicians, including National Party leader Simon Bridges and parliament speaker Trevor Mallard, were on the mailing list.

To carry out his attack, Tarrant, who first acquired a gun license in 2017, used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the United States military M16 rifle. Ardern suggested "now is the time for change" and hinted she was closely looking at rules regulating ownership of semi-automatic weapons.

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