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Today in Christchurch, New Zealand, 49 people were killed and 48 were injured in a terrorist shooting targeting Muslims at two mosques. According to the Guardian, it is New Zealand’s worst mass shooting. Four people are in custody, authorities said, though they believe only three were involved in the violence. One, a man in his late 20s, was charged with murder and is expected to appear in court on Saturday.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said in remarks on the attack that “it is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here,” she continued. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was.”
U.S. leaders have issued statements of support as news of the attack circulates worldwide.
President Donald Trump tweeted that “my warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
President Barack Obama wrote, “Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.”
“Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un,” Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted. “This is chilling news to wake up to. In the face of this horror, I’m mourning with, and holding our community extra close today. We must not live in fear. I will be at Jumu’ah today and I hope others will too. Jummah Mubarak.”
“Our thoughts are with the victims of the horrific attack in Christchurch, New Zealand,” Senator Bernie Sanders wrote. “No one should have to fear for their life because of their religion. We must come together to condemn all forms of hate and violence to build a future of respect and understanding.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “We mourn the loss of 49 lives cut short in the horrific act of violence in Christchurch, New Zealand. Islamophobia and such acts of pure hatred have no place in a civilized world.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Ardern’s initial message about the attack, then added, “Friends, Morning (Friday) is Jummah, the weekly day of worship for our community of Muslim friends and loved ones. Be there for them. Check in. Perhaps extend a kind gesture at your local mosque. There is so much fear and hate. We must negate it with active, courageous love.”
Representative Ayanna Pressley wrote, “49 lives stolen from this earth because of a senseless, hateful, islamaphobic act of terrorism in a place of worship. The longer we wait to regulate the gun industry, the more lives we will lose. I promise to continue working tirelessly to put an end to this public health crisis.”
This post will be updated as more responses are shared.