At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured, in a hate-filled terror attack targeting two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The lone gun man, a 28 year old white supremacist walked into the mosques at Christchurch and opened fire on faithfuls, including women and children who were attending their Friday afternoon prayers.
Most of those killed were worshiping at Al Noor Mosque when the gunman entered, killing at least 41 people on sight. A second shooting was at the Linwood Mosque; about 3 miles away claimed seven more lives. Armed with semi-automatic rifles, the gun man streamed his horror spree live on Facebook and claimed to represent Europeans and whites in a battle against immigrants, people he repeatedly described as “invaders.”
He also referred to the right to bear arms as laid out in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and claimed that attempts to take away guns in the U.S. will lead to a civil war. The gunman reportedly streamed 17 minutes of the attack on Facebook, which was brought down by the social media platform and his account suspended.
Before the shooting, the gun man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant also posted a 73-page manifesto online in which he laid out his racist, white supremacist views before the attack started. The shooter’s weapons were marked with white supremacist symbols and the names of historical figures who fought against the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic superpower of its day.