(CNN)Fifty people were killed and 50 others wounded in a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, police announced Sunday.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack on Friday as one of her country’s “darkest days.” She said that the suspects held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world.
He appeared in Christchurch district court on Saturday. During his brief appearance, Tarrant was handcuffed and accompanied by three officers armed with tasers. He was silent during his court appearance and has been remanded in custody to reappear in court on April 5.
Just before the shootings, a link to an 87-page manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online messaging board that has been used by anonymous accounts to share extremist messages and cheer on mass shooters, was posted to an account in Tarrant’s name
The manifesto is unsigned. Its author claims to be a 28-year-old white man, born in Australia. It is filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, as well as explanations for an attack.
Tarrant has traveled around the world, “with sporadic periods of time spent in New Zealand,” Ardern said in a press conference. She added that he was based in Dunedin, New Zealand at the time of the attack.
She told reporters that none of the people who had been arrested, including Tarrant, had been on any watch lists.
New Zealand’s gun control laws scrutinized
Prime Minister Ardern announced early Saturday local time that New Zealand’s gun laws would change in response to the terror attack.
She said the primary perpetrator was in possession of a gun license and used five guns during the attack — including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns.
“While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now. Our gun laws will change,” she said at a news conference in Wellington.
The nation’s gun laws were eventually changed after the attack, regulating military-style semi-automatic firearms. However, New Zealand’s weapons legislation is still considered more relaxed than most countries Western outside of the USA.