At least 49 people were killed and dozens more seriously wounded in two related mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. According to the New York Daily News, the massacres took place during prayer services in the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid Mosque, which are about three miles apart. Police also discovered two improvised explosive devices on scene, which were later defused. Officials are categorizing the attack as terrorism.
The attack was live-streamed to social media. Websites like Facebook and YouTube are currently working to remove the graphic footage. During the video, the attacker tells viewers “Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.” Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) promptly responded to this news via tweet.
“Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thought go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
A 28-year-old Australian man has been charged with murder, and three others have been arrested in connection to the attack. The man also posted a 74-page manifesto online before the incident. The document praised Anders Breivik, a white supremacist who murdered 77 people in the 2011 Norway attacks. The Associated Press reports that the New Zealand shooter was possibly in contact with Breivik’s sympathizers. Officials say the man did not act alone, three others have been arrested in connection with the case. In a press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of New Zealand’s “darkest days.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has set up a crowdfunding campaign for the victims. If you would like to help, go to https://jfedpgh.org/new-zealand.