Loading articles...

New Zealand mosque shooter changes plea to guilty

FILE - In this March 17, 2019 file photo, a police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, where one of two mass shootings occurred. According to a report released Wednesday, March 18, 2020, by an organization that tracks far-right extremists, a recent surge in white nationalism in the U.S. has led to a growing threat of violence by factions that embrace bloodshed and advocate for a race war. The man accused of attacking two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and killing 51 people in March 2019 devoted a section of his manifesto to the concept of accelerationism, a fringe philosophy that promotes mass violence to fuel society’s collapse. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

One year after killing 51 worshipers at two Christchurch mosques, an Australian white supremacist accused of the slaughter on Thursday changed his plea to guilty.

Twenty-nine-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism. The killing spree was the deadliest in New Zealand’s modern history and prompted the government to rush through new laws banning most semi-automatic weapons.

Tarrant was scheduled to go to trial on the charges in June. His change in plea came as a surprise and relief to survivors and relatives of the victims.

A sentencing date has yet to be set. Tarrant faces life imprisonment on the charges.

The plea came at a hastily arranged court hearing at a time that New Zealand was beginning a four-week lockdown to try and combat the new coronavirus. The lockdown meant that Tarrant appeared in the court from his jail cell via video link and that only a few people were allowed inside the courtroom.

 

Latest Traffic & Weather
680 NEWS TRAFFIC @680NEWStraffic 680 News Traffic Twitter verified icon
Updated 35 minutes ago
COLLISION: #SB400 at Mapleview. Two left lanes blocked.
Latest Traffic
680 NEWS WEATHER @680NEWSweather 
Updated Today at 03:25 AM
Good Tuesday morning! Watch out for untreated surfaces that could be slippery this morning and heads up for more ❄️…
Latest Weather