New Zealand mosque shooting: Barack Obama condemns 'hatred in all its forms' after attack
The attacker was identified as a Trump supporting white supremacist Brenton Tarrant and is currently in police custody
Former President Barack Obama sent his condolences to the victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings on Friday, which left 49 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.
Obama took to Twitter to express his grief, saying: "Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms."
Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 15, 2019
The gunman, from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia identified himself on Twitter and even live-streamed around 17 minutes of the horrific mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque. Shooting also took place at the nearby Masjid mosque in Linwood. Tarrant also posted a 74-page manifesto explaining why he opened fire in two mosques in the country's worst ever terrorist attack.
The document also mentioned that Tarrant was a supporter of President Donald Trump and looked at him as a "symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose but not as a policymaker." Tarrant also claimed that he particularly chose a gun as his weapon of attack over others as it would spark debate around the second amendment in the United States.
He also mentioned right-wing commentator Candace Owens in his manifesto, saying: "Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness."
Trump condemned the "horrible massacre" on Friday morning, saying that he has extended his full support to New Zealand as the country reels from the aftermath of the attack.
"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Out of the total fatalities, 41 were killed at the Al Noor Mosque while seven others were massacred at the Linwood Avenue mosque. An additional 48 people were rushed to Christchurch Hospital with gunshot wounds, 20 of who were reported to be in a critical condition.