A police officer cordons off the area close to the Masjid al Noor mosque after a shooting incident in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. Tessa BURROWS / AFP
New Zealand police have charged one man with murder following a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch which left at least 49 people dead.
“One person, a male in his late 20s, has been charged with murder, and should appear in the Christchurch Court tomorrow morning,” said New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
An Australian gunman involved in attacks on New Zealand mosques Friday that left at least 40 people dead published a racist manifesto on Twitter beforehand then livestreamed his rampage, according to an AFP online analysis.
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Police called for people not to share the video, which showed the gunman shooting repeatedly at worshippers from close range.
“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” New Zealand police said in a Twitter post.
“We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”
AFP analysed a copy of the Facebook Live video, which shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, then shooting as he enters the building.
AFP determined the video was genuine through a digital investigation that included matching screenshots of the mosque taken from the gunman’s footage with multiple images available online showing the same areas.
The manifesto detailing motivations for the attack was posted on Friday morning onto a Twitter account with the same name and profile image as the Facebook page that streamed the attack.