A 28-year-old Australian man named Brenton Tarrant appeared in the Christchurch District Court today after being charged with murder following shootings at two mosques yesterday in Christchurch.
Police Commission Mike Bush this morning announced 49 people have died and 42 are being treated for injuries.
“Two of those injured are critical and this includes a four-year-old child who is being transported to Starship Hospital this morning.”
Forty-one people were killed at the Deans Avenue mosque and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. One died in hospital last night, says Bush.
Two other suspects remain in custody.
Bush says 80 police officers travelled to the district this morning after 45 additional officers were deployed to Christchurch on yesterday.
“Deputy Commissioner of Māori and Ethnic Services Wally Haumaha has travelled to Christchurch alongside 15 ethnic liaison officers to support the community, says Bush.
“These specialists will work alongside local staff to support the families and help repatriate them with their loved ones in a way that is consistent with Muslim beliefs while taking into account these circumstances and obligations to the coroner.”
He says investigations are in their early stages.
"We will be looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event."
He says there is also a heightened police presence around the country, including at mosques and community events.
"We do need members of the public to remain vigilant however, and to report anything suspicious to us by calling 111 immediately."