The Christchurch shooting: what happened?

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The Christchurch shooting: what happened?

Screenshot of the shooters livestream just moments before the first shots were fired (Photos courtesy of YouTube).

Screenshot of the shooters livestream just moments before the first shots were fired (Photos courtesy of YouTube).

Screenshot of the shooters livestream just moments before the first shots were fired (Photos courtesy of YouTube).

Screenshot of the shooters livestream just moments before the first shots were fired (Photos courtesy of YouTube).

Jake Miller, assistant editor

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On Friday Mar. 15th, 2019, at around 1:30 a manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” is sent to members of New Zealand’s government and to the press. At 1:32 pm, a livestream on Facebook is started and shows a man getting in his car. At around 1:38 the man exits his car and grabs his gun from the trunk.

Just after 1:40 the first shots rang out. By 2:20, 40 people are confirmed dead. By 9:15, 48 people are confirmed dead. In total 50 people would die in the attack which is being called “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” (according to the New York Times)

The attack was carried out by a Australian man named Brenton Tarrant, who described himself as a “ordinary white man who decided to take a stand to ensure the future of his people” (according to the manifesto).

The attack which was almost entirely live streamed to Facebook shows him dramatically enter the Al Noor mosque and kill everyone inside then drive to his next target the Linwood Islamic Centre, the stream cuts out before he arrives so what happened inside is testimony of the survivors. A man named Abdul Aziz Wahabzada is credited with preventing more deaths and scaring away the attacker. According to Abdul he chased the attacker with a credit card machine threw it at him and began to shout “over here” to try and get his attention away from the mosque. The attacker still went inside but once he came back out to reload Abdul grabbed a empty shotgun the attacker had dropped ran at the attacker and threw the shotgun at his car shattering his window and the attacker sped off.

As the attacker was driving to presumably his next target the police rammed his car and dragged him out the window arresting him and ultimately putting an end to the carnage.

Due to the fact that most of the massacre was live streamed social media was facing a massive influx of comments and copies of the video. Twitter became a hub for the video and by the end of the day most people had seen it appear in their feed before the social media platforms had time to react. Once the platforms and New Zealand’s government did realize what was happening they began to shut down any account that posted or shared the video sparking a mad scramble to end the spread of what could be used as evidence against the shooter.

Only 72 hours after the Attack the New Zealand prime minister got on TV and announced that due to the attack, all military style semi-automatic weapons will be banned in the country. The change which was welcomed by New Zealanders will come into effect on April 11th and will give gun owners time to safely turn in their guns. A petition for more gun control was formed before the legislation was announced and accumulated more than 70,000 signatures (according to BBC). According to a government spokesperson the change in legislation will resemble Australia’s buy back and should cost between 150-200 million dollars.

New Zealand has tried before to enforce more gun control and failed but in the wake of this tragedy the government is seizing the moment and quickly acting before the awe fades and the citizens change their minds.

 

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