By Amani Salahudeen
On March 15, 50 people were killed and 50 others were injured in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, according to CNN.
The youngest of the victims was a 3-year-old boy, The Washington Post reported.
According to The Mirror, three men and one woman involved have been arrested. CNN reported that 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant has been charged with murder.
In the aftermath, local churches welcomed Muslims who wanted to pray and mourn.
“‘We never had any trouble here, it was completely unexpected,’” said 35-year-old Radhika Kumar, who came to pay her respects. “‘People are scared. Nobody ever thought something like this could happen in New Zealand,’” according to Time Magazine.
According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, various weapons were found where both of the attacks occurred, CNN reported.
At a press conference in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, on Thursday, March 21, Ardern announced that “‘every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned.’” She said that the legislation will be drafted and will be urgently instituted, ABC News reported.
According to ABC News, Arden stated that “all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in the country” after the shootings. She hopes that the new law will go into effect by April 11.
During the conference, Ardern said that she believes the country was targeted due to its tolerance of other cultures, reported NPR.
“‘We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism,’” Ardern said, NPR stated. “‘We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it. And those values, I can assure you, will not, and cannot, be shaken by this attack.’”
The White House delivered a statement condemning the attacks at the mosques, according to the NPR.
“‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,’” the statement said.’“We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.’”