Reports out of New Zealand on Friday indicated that three individuals were custody after the massacre of up to 49 people in two separate mosques. There are also reports that the attackers broadcast a live stream of the shootings.
Although three are in custody, the word is that only one has been officially charged with murder at this time, and the individual charged was said to be heavily-armed what is being termed a terror attack.
We do know that one of the suspects in custody is a 28-year-old Australian born citizen who reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks, which occurred in Christchurch. Reports also indicate that just before the shootings, the 28-year-old individual posted a white nationalist manifesto.
The suspect's name has not been released of yet. However, Scott Morrison, Australia's Prime Minister, described the individual as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist." He went on to add that the suspect was scheduled to appear in court on Saturday.
The individual was detained along with three other suspects—one of which was later discovered not to have any involvement in the attack—and none of which appeared to be flagged on any current watch lists. Investigators did reveal that one of the suspects was a female.
Following the massacre, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quoted as saying: “These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.”
She went on to tell News.co.au: “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” She then went on to remind that the shootings were conducted in a place where people should be able to feel free and safe to express their religious beliefs.
In addition to the already reported 49 dead, officials have said that 48 more are being treated for various gunshot wounds at Christchurch Hospital. The ages of the victims are said to range from young children to adults, with their injuries appearing to range from minor to critical.
Law enforcement officials stated that 41 victims were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque, which is located in central Christchurch, another seven were killed at the Linwood Masjid mosque, about three miles away. The final victim reportedly died from their injuries at a local hospital.
The shooter reportedly also live broadcast the attack and is shown in the video to spend two minutes inside the mosque, shooting at anything that moved. There are even parts of the video that reports that he doubles back to shoot and kill those that were still alive. He then is shown to exit the mosque, re-arming himself, and returning inside to continue to shoot even more victims.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
If this is indeed a "terror attack," was there any measures that could have been taken to prevent it?