Christchurch, New Zealand – A new video has emerged depicting the arrest of the alleged Australian mosque shooter, Brenton Tarrant by the Christchurch police.
The footage, which was taken by a motorist on Strickland Street, showed police cautiously approaching the shooter’s car, fully armed. The scene included a police car and a Subaru belonging to the 28-year-old terrorist.
Police reportedly had to crash into the SUV to get the shooter to stop. The two policemen managed to then drag Mr Tarrant from his car and onto the ground.
The release of the video came after the suspect made a 3-minute appearance in court this morning.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush released a statement saying that it took 36 minutes from the first attack right up to Mr Tarrant’s arrest.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the right-wing attacker appeared in court looking defiant with pictures showing his “smug,” “calm” and “composed” attitude. He was seen making a “white power” hand gesture as two armed guards led him into the courtroom.
He appeared barefoot with a bruised upper lip as District Court Judge Paul Kellar read the murder charge. The whole hearing lasted only about three minutes after which the accused was led outside and ordered to return to court on April 5.
Judge P. Kellar said the one charge was temporary and he assumed “there will be others” as the investigation progresses.
The charge sheet read as follows: “on the 15th day of March 2019 at Christchurch murdered (name suppressed) … with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment”.
The hearing was held behind closed doors with only members of the press in attendance. Judge P. Kellar justified this by saying that the media were “the surrogates of the public and I’ve taken this decision to clear the court for reasons of public safety.”
However, to promote the fundamental principles in New Zealand of openness and transparency, he allowed the hearing to be photographed, filmed and audio recorded.
The judge felt that it was the court’s obligation to the victims to do so but requested for the face of the defendant to be blurred as a safety precaution in case identity became an issue.
New Zealand Gun Laws “Will Change”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change the country’s gun laws in light of the tragic incident.
“I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change,” said the Prime Minister at a press conference in Wellington today.
“There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017.”
“Now is the time for change,” she added.
The Prime Minister received information that the gunman was in possession of a Category A gun license since November 2017 and “under that, he was able to acquire the guns that he held.” Mr Tarrant is said to have used two semiautomatic weapons, two shotguns, and a lever-action firearm for the attack.
“When people, of course, hear that this individual had acquired a gun licence and acquired weapons of that range, then obviously I think people will be seeking change, and I’m committing to that,” said the Prime Minister in response to the attacker’s arsenal.
Ms Ardern visited Christchurch to meet with the leaders of the Muslim community at Canterbury Refugee Centre.
Video footage of Mr Tarrant’s arrest: