Looking Back at the New Zealand Mosque Shooting

Rebekah Sun, Co-News Editor

On March 15, 2019 an Australian citizen, Brenton Tarrant, targeted two mosques in Christchurch around noon on the Friday of the incident. Friday is an important day for Muslims, as Friday Prayer is an essential Islamic duty.

Fifty people lost, fifty more injured. The mass shootings of two New Zealand Muslim mosques left both Muslim and non-Muslim communities mourning across the world.

The first mosque to be attacked at around 1:30 p.m. was the al Noor mosque. As the attack unfolded, the perpetrator even live streamed his attack in a graphic video, depicting himself traveling around Christchurch before arriving at the al Noor and opening fire on civilians who struggled to flee. As the gunman left the mosque after about six minutes of a deadly rampage, he proceeded to open fire on random civilians on the streets. After targeting al Noor mosque, then Tarrant moved to the Linwood mosque, killing about seven Muslims in the building mid-prayer.

Prior to the attacks, a manifesto posted on social media by an account under Tarrant’s name revealed anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant language, as well as support and cheering for previous mass shooters.


Shortly after the attack, Prime Minister Ardern addressed the media, announcing that New Zealand’s gun laws would change in response to the shootings. She revealed that Tarrant was in possession of two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, in addition to another gun. She went on to promise, “While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now. Our gun laws will change”.

This attack was truly devastating and is now recognized as the worst massacres in New Zealand history. Although little can be done to ease the suffering of the victims’ families, New Zealand’s promise to increase gun regulations does bring consolation to many.