On 15 March 2019, two consecutive mass shootings occurred in a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The attacks, carried out by a lone gunman who entered both mosques during Friday prayer, began at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm and continued at the Linwood Islamic Centre at 1:52 pm. 51 people were killed and 40 were injured.

The gunman, 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, was arrested as he was driving to a third mosque. He was described in media reports as a white supremacist and part of the alt-right. He had live-streamed the first shooting on Facebook, and prior to the attack, had published an online manifesto; both the video and manifesto were subsequently banned in New Zealand and Australia. On 26 March 2020, he pleaded guilty to 51 murders, 40 attempted murders, and engaging in a terrorist act, and in August was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole – the first such sentence in New Zealand.

The attack was linked to an increase in white supremacy and alt-right extremism globally observed since about 2015. Politicians and world leaders condemned it, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. The government established a royal commission into its security agencies in the wake of the shootings, which were the deadliest in modern New Zealand history and the worst ever committed by an Australian national. The commission submitted its report to the government on 26 November 2020, the details of which were made public on 7 December.

Additional Details

  • INCIDENT DATE:15/03/2019
  • ALLEDGED PREPETRATOR RACE: NON-HISPANIC WHITE
  • ALLEDGED PREPETRATOR SEX: MALE
  • ALLEDGED PREPETRATOR AGE: 28
  • ALLEDGED PREPETRATOR NAME:Brenton Harrison Tarrant
  • VICTIM SEX: NUMEROUS
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  • INCIDENT NAME:Christchurch mosque shootings
  • VICTIM RACE: NUMEROUS
  • VICTIM AGE:NOT SPECIFIED
  • VICTIM NAME:NUMEROUS
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