A grieving man threatened ‘to knife’ the accused gunman of the Christchurch Mosque massacre as he made his first appearance in court earlier today.
Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, briefly appeared at Christchurch District Court today after he was formally charged with murder after a shooting rampage that left a total of 49 people dead and 42 injured in two New Zealand mosques.
Police said more charges will be filed against him. Three more people are in custody.
Tarrant was escorted to a heavily-guarded courtroom under unprecedented security measures as agitated people gathered outside the court during his appearance.
Just as the terrorist was about to be brought into court, one person wielding a knife attempted to enter the courtroom, New Zealand Herald reported.
The man reportedly told the paper that he wanted to stab the suspect.
“What the f*** has happened here,” he told reporters but was quickly apprehended by police.
Another man was cited shouting “rot in f****** hell” as he drove by the courthouse.
A second man, 18-year-old Daniel John Burrough, has also been charged in relation to the Mosque attacks while another man remains in custody as police say they are still trying to ‘build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event’.
The terrifying attack at Christchurch was live-streamed in a 17-minute video which was uploaded on Facebook and shows the terrorist going from room to room gunning down innocent worshippers.
The video has since been removed from social media after a police request.
Tarrant reportedly hails from the town of Grafton, in northeastern New South Wales, but has been living in Dunedin, New Zealand, for quite some time, according to the reports in the local media.
While in Australia, he worked as a personal trainer at a local gym in Grafton from 2009 to 2011, ABC reported.
He is alleged to have penned a 74-page manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement” where he delves into what had inspired him to carry out the shootings and vows “revenge” against Muslim “invaders.”
The manifesto was reportedly written two weeks before the attacks.
The manifesto suggests Tarrant harbors neo-fascist beliefs and draws inspiration from other infamous shooters and conquerors of the past.
His weapons bore neo-Nazi inscriptions and slogans, names of extremists, as well as historic figures who waged wars against Muslims.
Forty-nine people died in the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood mosque and over 40 were injured, some critically.
In the wake of the attack, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to strengthen gun laws in New Zealand after she said the attacker had used five firearms in the attack, including two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever action firearm.
She said she had been advised the gunman obtained a Category A licence in November 2017, and ‘under that, he was able to acquire the guns that he held’.
‘While work has been done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change,’ Ms Ardern told media.