Christchurch mosque shooting: Gunman emailed manifesto before massacre

The Christchurch mosque gunman emailed his hate filled manifesto to key organisations in New Zealand, including the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s office, less than ten minutes before he undertook his murderous rampage.

By the time authorities were advised of the email, the attack had already taken place.

“The mail was setting his reasons for doing it. He didn’t say this is what I am about to do. There was no opportunity to stop it,” a spokesperson for the PM’s office told the New Zealand Herald.

“It does not set out what he was about to do. It was written as if it had occurred, to explain what obviously was about to play out.”

More details came to light Sunday morning as New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed the death toll had risen to 50 following the discovery of another body at the crime scene. The number of injured has also risen to 50, whose age ranges from 2 to older than 60. 36 of those remain in Christchurch hospital while two are critical.

“As of last night we were able to take all of the victims out of those scenes and in doing so we have located another victim,” Bush said.

Speaking to reporters in Wellington, Bush confirmed Tarrant was the sole gunman involved in both mosque shootings.

The gunman used a modified A-class weapon, Bush said.

Two other people, a man and a woman, were arrested soon after the shootings but were not linked to the gunman. The woman has been released without charge while the man has been charged with firearms offences.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed it had received a copy of the manifesto along with approximately 70 other recipients, mostly media organisations both national and international.

The bodies of the victims have not yet been returned to families as police need to determine the cause of death for each individual.

“We have been working pathologist and coroners, and the chief coroner, on that and we have to be clear on cause of death and the identity before we can do that,” he said.

The gunman, 28-year Australian Brenton Tarrant, appeared in court on Saturday and entered no plea on a charge or murder.

Tarrant was stopped because he was belived to be a “direct threat”, Bush said.

— More to come

Originally published as Gunman emailed NZ PM’s office

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