While the motive of the killer is not yet known, the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as a terrorist attack and the darkest day in the country’s history.
According to the bbc.com, the suspected killer is an Australian called Brenton Tarrant, who reportedly live-streamed his rampage at Al Noor mosque on Facebook. Although facebook has since removed the video and its copies, it had since spread to other platforms. It shows a man with several weapons shooting indiscriminately using an automatic weapons. He drove to the mosque, entered and then started shooting whoever had gathered for Friday prayers.
According to media reports from the far eastern country, the killer posted a lengthy, racist document in which the author identified the mosques that were later attacked and set out anti-immigrant motivations for the attack.
Following the tragic events in News Zealand, world leaders have expressed condolences with the families of those who were killed.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the man as an “extremist, right-wing” terrorist.
Queen Elizabeth, who is the symbolic head of state in News Zealand expressed her sorrow with the people of News Zealand. She said she was “deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences”.
Pope Francis also offered his “heartfelt solidarity” and was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also mourned “with New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred while peacefully praying in their mosques”.
And French President Emmanuel Macron called it an “odious attack” and said France stood “against any form of extremism”.
US President Donald Trump, posted a bizarre tweet in which he sent “Warmest Sympathy and Best Wishes” to the People of News Zealand. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders put it perhaps more appropriately when she said: the country (US) “strongly condemns the attack” and that the U.S. stands “against this vicious act of hate.”