New Zealand Police: Gunman Acted Alone, May Have Had Support

March 18, 2019 Updated: March 20, 2019

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the gunman who killed 50 people and wounded others at two Christchurch mosques acted alone but may have had support.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, was arrested moments after the shootings on Friday. He was charged with a single count of murder and a judge said Saturday he may face other charges.

Bush said at a news conference on March 18, that “We believe absolutely there was only one attacker responsible for this.”

But he added that the support of other people hasn’t been ruled out and is “a very, very important part of our investigation.”

Police Raid Homes Linked to Gunman

Australian police have raided two homes in New South Wales state as part of the investigation into the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Police said in a statement the raids occurred in the towns of Sandy Beach and Lawrence early on Monday.

The statement says: “The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand Police in their ongoing investigation.”

Tarrant grew up to the north of the raided towns in the New South Wales town of Grafton.

Gunman’s Family Members Speak Out

Australia’s Nine Network television has broadcasted an interview with a woman and a man who it says are a grandmother and an uncle of Tarrant.

The woman, identified as Marie Fitzgerald, said, “It’s just so much for everything to take in that somebody in our family would do anything like this.”

She added, “It’s only since he traveled overseas, I think, that the boy has changed completely …”

The uncle, Terry Fitzgerald, said, “We say sorry, for the families over there, for the dead and the injured, yeah we just, can’t think nothing else, just want to go home and hide.”

The interview was conducted Sunday in Grafton.

Christchurch Gun Shop Sold Rifles Online to Accused Shooter

The owner of Christchurch’s “Gun City” store said it sold four guns and ammunition to the alleged mosque shooter through a “police-verified online mail order process.”

David Tipple said in a statement that he has provided police with the purchase records and full details of the sales, which did not include military style semi-automatic weapons.

Tipple said he and staff are “dismayed and disgusted” by Friday’s shootings.

Referring to the man arrested after the shootings at two mosques, Tipple said, “We detected nothing extraordinary about this (gun) license holder.”

Mourners lay flowers
Mourners lay flowers on a wall at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Facebook Removes 1.5 Million Videos of New Zealand Mass Shooting

Facebook says it removed 1.5 million videos of the New Zealand shootings during the first 24 hours after the massacre.

The revelation in a late Saturday tweet provides a chilling snapshot of how quickly provocative—and often disturbing—images circulate on the internet and the challenges facing social media companies such as Facebook as they try to stamp them out.

Facebook says it prevented 1.2 million of the videos from being uploaded to its social network, which has more than 2.2 billion users.

But that implies 300,000 versions of the video were available to watch for at least short periods of time before Facebook excised them.

The graphic video was taken by the shooter.

Flowers memorial Christchurch mosque attack
Flowers and signs laid at a memorial for victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 17, 2019. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)
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