Suspect in New Zealand mosque shootings charged with murder

Suspect in New Zealand mosque shootings charged with murder
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The primary suspect in Friday's deadly attack on two New Zealand mosques has been charged with murder, according to authorities.

The 28-year-old Australian man was charged with one count of murder in connection with the massacre but likely will face more charges, police wrote on Twitter.

"While the man is currently facing only one charge, further charges will be laid. Details of those charges will be communicated at the earliest possible opportunity," New Zealand police said.

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The suspect, handcuffed and wearing white prison clothes, appeared in a Christchurch court briefly on Saturday, accompanied by armed guards. District Court Judge Paul Kellar ordered him held for a further hearing on April 5, The Associated Press reported.

Kellar said in court Saturday that while “there is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others.”

At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured in New Zealand after at least one gunman opened fire at two mosques. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it “one of New Zealand's darkest days,” adding that it was “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” 

The attack sent shock waves around the world, as some Islamic communities bolstered security in the wake of the attack and lawmakers around the globe offered aid and condolences to the island nation.

Ardern vowed that her country’s gun laws will change in the aftermath of Friday's mass shootings.