A pair of attacks on two mosques on Friday the 15th in New Zealand has left fifty people dead and fifty others injured. The first attack was livestreamed via Facebook live and lasted for 17 minutes before being shut down by Facebook. Before the shooting, the shooter, Brenton Tarrant, made a post on 8chan, pictured below. The links contained his manifesto before they were removed, and a facebook live link that he would use to stream his killing spree.
Brenton began his livestream in his car in an industrial lot. Making small talk for a minute, even turning the camera towards himself and saying “Hello, lads.” Eventually, Tarrant says “let’s get this party started” and begins driving towards the Al Noor mosque.
Upon approaching the mosque, Brenton drives into an alleyway to the right of the building. He parks his car, and opens his trunk, revealing some guns and two homemade bombs, along with various other bags that may have contained ammunition.
He grabs two guns, a rifle and a shotgun and walks to the front entrance, where people are waiting. The first victim to die is reported to have said “Hello, Brother” to the shooter mere seconds before Tarrant opened fire. Tarrant’s weapons were covered in phrases such as “Refugees welcome to hell”, “Kebab Remover” and “Here’s your migration compact!”
Tarrant then enters the mosque and begins to open fire on those attending. At one point, somebody attending attempts to charge at the shooter and throws off Tarrant’s balance, but is killed in the process. Tarrant, after spending around a minute inside, walks outside and starts to briefly shoot at people on the street.
He then returns to his car, retrieves another rifle and enters the mosque again. Tarrant opens fire yet again, firing at the dead. It should be noted that during the whole ordeal, Tarrant has been playing music through a speaker. For the majority of the shooting, a remix of “Grün ist unser Fallschirm”, a song that has been associated with Neo-Nazism, is playing.
Finally, Tarrant exits the mosque for the final time. He fires at somebody on the street again, and returns to his car. The song “Fire” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown begins as he opens his car door. He begins to drive towards his next target, Linwood Mosque. He slows down and fires out of his windshield and passenger window with a shotgun, before speeding off. Brenton Tarrant had just killed 41 people in the span of five minutes.
He finally breaks his silence after not speaking during the shooting, saying how it “Did not go as expected.” The livestream was shut down by Facebook after 17 minutes. As such, the second shooting itself was not captured on video.
According to those who were at Linwood Mosque at the time, Tarrant approached the Mosque from a side without a door, and shot at people in the parking lot. This alerted those who were inside, and allowed dozens to escape and hide in the women’s prayer room, which could be locked. Tarrant indiscriminately shot through the windows of the mosque, until Abdul Aziz, an Afghan refugee, picked up a credit card machine and chased after the shooter. Tarrant ran, and got back in his car. Aziz picked up the shooter’s dropped shotgun, and smashed in the windshield of Tarrant’s car.
Tarrant was eventually apprehended by police. Conflicting reports say how Tarrant’s car was stopped, but the general consensus is that his car was rammed. He was then arrested without protest.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has sworn not to mention the shooter’s name, as well as expressing support for the victims, and promised revised gun control measures for New Zealand. “We need global action on extremism”, she told CNN.
In all, fifty were killed in the mosque attacks, and there are still many questions from the families of the victims, and the residents of New Zealand. Brenton Tarrant has decided to represent himself in court, which may shed new light on his motives outside of his manifesto.