New Zealand mosque gunman admits 51 murders


Christchurch gunman admits 51 murders

Brenton Tarrant admitted all charges (Picture: Reuters/PA/Getty)

The gunman who killed 51 people during attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Brenton Tarrant, 29, admitted 51 counts of murder as well as attempted murder of another 40 people, and one terrorism charge.

He drove first to the Al Noor mosque and gunned down worshippers at the entrance, before opening fire inside on children, women and men for around five minutes.

He then drove to the Linwood mosque and continued shooting in March last year.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 17: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a mosque-goer at the Kilbirnie Mosque on March 17, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. 50 people are confirmed dead and 36 are injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a mosque-goer at the Kilbirnie Mosque on March 17, 2019 (Picture; Getty)

FILE PHOTO: Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is seen in the dock during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019. Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Brenton Tarrant has admitted murder (Picture: Reuters)

He livestreamed the shooting on a head-mounted camera.

Tarrant had denied the charges and was due to stand trial.

The coronavirus lockdown meant that Tarrant appeared in the court from his jail cell via videolink and that only a few people were allowed inside the courtroom.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

The shooting rocked New Zealand and the rest of the world, and the country’s gun laws were changed in its wake.

Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern said in a press conference that the country’s gun laws would change.

A police officer stands guard outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch (Picture: PA)

The suspect held a Category A gun license which enabled him to legally obtain semi-automatic weapons, she said.

She added: ‘While the nation grapples with a form of grief and anger that we have not experienced before, we are seeking answers.’

Prime Minister Ardern previously described the attack as ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’, adding: ‘What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.’

She added: ‘It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.’

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