Australian man who posted comments in support of New Zealand mosque shootings banned from using the internet

The New Zealand mosque shootings on Friday left 50 people dead and dozens injured. The attacker was identified as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist.


                            Australian man who posted comments in support of New Zealand mosque shootings banned from using the internet

An Australian man identified as Chad Rolf Vinzelberg who was arrested after posting comments on social media in support of the Christchurch mosque shooting has reportedly been granted bail on the condition that he stays off the internet.

Vinzelberg, 37, was reportedly charged with one count of aggravated possession of a firearm without a license and four counts of using or possessing a prohibited weapon. Reports state that Vinzelberg hung his head and wept as he faced Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Monday.

Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The New Zealand mosque shootings on Friday left 50 people dead and dozens injured. The attacker was identified as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, who is currently in police custody. Three others have also been arrested in connection with the killings.

Police prosecutor Brevet Sergeant Peter Finey, while making an appearance in court, said that officials were alerted about Vinzelberg's social media comments and photos showing him with a firearm on Friday. "It was after the Christchurch massacre," Finey said. "He posted certain things on Facebook in support of that."

 



 

Shortly after officials found pictures of Vinzelberg with a firearm, they searched his home at Smithfield, north of Adelaide and seized a fake pistol, extendable baton and two flick knives from under his mattress. They also found a medieval mace and crossbow in his shed, according to the Daily Mail.

Vinzelberg, in an interview, told officers that he bought the fake pistol at a garage sale several years ago and other weapons which were found were bought online from a shop in Salisbury.

"The messages posted on Facebook by the defendant (that) brought him to police attention are significant in concern and, in light of that, the prosecution have a general concern for the safety of the public," he said.

Flowers and tributes are laid at the Botanic Gardens on March 18, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 50 people are confirmed dead, with with 36 injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March. (Getty Images)
Flowers and tributes are laid at the Botanic Gardens on March 18, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 50 people are confirmed dead, with with 36 injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March. (Getty Images)

Vinzelberg's defense lawyers, however, said that a lot of the seized weapons were mounted ornamental items found in what he referred to as his "man cave." The lawyers also argued that the 37-year-old works 40-60 hours a week as a demolition rigger, pays the mortgage on his family's home, and had never been remanded in custody before.

Vinzelberg was eventually released on $2,000 bail by Magistrate Gary Gumpl who said that his bail is being given on the condition that he does not access or post anything on the internet. He is also scheduled to reappear before the court in December.