Forty-Nine Are Dead After a Mass Shooting on Two Mosques on a Dark Day in New Zealand
Forty-nine people were killed, and dozens more are being treated for gunshot wounds after a man in his mid-20s opened fire on the members of two mosques in the city of Christchurch. The shooting occurred during Friday morning prayer. Firearms were recovered at the scene of the crimes. Explosive devices were found in one car.
Three men and a woman have been taken into custody, and one charged with the murders. The shootings were announced on 8chan, live-streamed on Facebook, and uploaded to YouTube. During the shooting, the shooter encouraged viewers to subscribe to YouTube celebrity and noted racist, PewDiePie. Someone, possibly the shooter, uploaded a manifesto to 8chan, indicating that he’d been radicalized online.
The New Zealand massacre was livestreamed on Facebook, announced on 8chan, reposted on YouTube, commentated about on Reddit, and mirrored around the world before the tech companies could even react.— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) March 15, 2019
The manifesto credited Donald Trump and Candace Owens as inspiration for the shooting. However, it is quite possible — and perhaps even likely — that the manifesto was designed to troll and/or bait American media in an effort to sew dissension (it is also quite possible — and even likely — that the shooter believes these things). In the manifesto, he said he specifically used guns to stir up divisions over the Second Amendment in America, cited white nationalist heroes, and claimed to be a fascist. It is obviously important to understand the motivations of the shooter, but should you run across it, please do not share the manifesto, as doing so could inspire potentially more violence.
The prime minister of New Zealand called it an extraordinary attack of unprecedented violence.
What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities - New Zealand is their home - they are us.— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) March 15, 2019
We here extend our sympathies to, and grieve for our friends in New Zealand, in the Muslim community at large, and the loved ones of the 49 victims of the New Zealand shootings. In an era of unprecedented hatred and gun violence, a horrific act of evil like this still seems unfathomable.
Please also be careful about how you’re browsing the Internet today. The images and videos are still out there, as social media platforms struggle to remove them.
Header Image Source: Getty Images
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