Christchurch attacker intended to continue rampage when arrested, says PM

Flowers and a New Zealand national flag are seen at a memorial as tributes to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch March 16, 2019. ― Reuters pic
Flowers and a New Zealand national flag are seen at a memorial as tributes to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch March 16, 2019. ― Reuters pic

CHRISTCHURCH, March 16 ― The main suspect in New Zealand's worst peacetime mass shooting intended to continue the rampage before he was caught by police, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

“The offender was mobile, there were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack,” Ardern told reporters in Christchurch. The suspect, identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, has been charged with murder, though Ardern added that further charges are likely.

“I'm not privileged to a full breakdown at this point but it is clear that young children have been caught up in this horrific attack,” she said regarding victims of the attack. ― Reuters