He approaches the mosque on foot, his weapon visible, and begins shooting at people at the entrance. What follows is a harrowing nearly two minutes of his firing on worshipers.
At one point the gunman exits the mosque and fires in both directions down the sidewalk before returning to his car for another gun — which, like the others, was inscribed with numbers, symbols or messages. When he re-enters the mosque, he shoots several bodies at close range.
After another few minutes, he returns to his vehicle and drives away.
“There wasn’t even time to aim, there was so many targets,” he says at one point, as the sirens of an emergency response vehicle blare in the background.
A white nationalist manifesto
Before the shooting, the gunman posted links to a white nationalist manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online forum known for extremist right-wing discussions. The 8chan post included a link to the gunman’s Facebook page, where he said he would also broadcast live video of the attack.
The Twitter posts showed weapons covered in the names of past military generals and men who have recently carried out mass shootings.
In his manifesto, he identified himself as a 28-year-old man born in Australia, and listed his white nationalist heroes.
Writing that he had purposely used guns to stir discord in the United States over the Second Amendment’s provision on the right to bear arms, he also declared himself a fascist. “For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist,” he wrote.
Ardern: ‘Now is the time’ to change gun laws
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking during a Saturday morning news conference, vowed changes to the country’s gun laws. She said that the attacker held a gun license obtained last November and that five guns were used in the attack including two semi-automatic weapons.
“Our gun laws will change, now is the time,” Ms. Ardern said, though did not elaborate on what such legislation may look like. “People will be seeking change, and I am committed to that.”
Ms. Ardern said she would be traveling to Christchurch later along with other politicians including members of the opposition. Ms. Ardern also said the attacker had not been known to either Australian or New Zealand officials.
“While the nation grapples with a form of grief and anger that we have not experienced before, we are seeking answers,” she said.
Ms. Ardern also detailed a phone call with President Trump, who offered his support. She said she asked for “sympathy and love for all Muslim communities.”
Earlier, Ms. Ardern described Friday as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
Trump condemns attack, says white nationalists are ‘small group of people’