Jacinda Ardern's office received manifesto from Christchurch shooter minutes before attack

Death Toll Of Christchurch Terror Attack Rises To 50 As New Victim Found

New Zealand's prime minister vowed Saturday to toughen the country's gun laws after revealing the alleged shooter behind Christchurch's mosque attacks had legally bought the five weapons, including two semi-automatic rifles, used in the massacre.

Some of the victims have survived civil wars in their home countries, only to die in one of the quietest countries at the other end of the world.

Friday's attack, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labeled as terrorism, was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand.

One person has been charged with murder while three other people apprehended with firearms are not believed to be involved, they said. A woman was released without charge and a man was charged with firearms offences.

"Inevitably, this is such a small community, so these people are going to be people who are familiar to us, even if we don't know them directly", he says.

Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, appeared in a Christchurch District Court Saturday.

Mr Tarrant has been remanded in custody without a plea and is due to appear in court again on 5 April.

"I can confirm that the bodies of those who have died are beginning to be returned to their families from this evening", she said, adding that all were expected to be released by Wednesday, March 20.

A copy of the shooter's 16,000-word manifesto was sent to New Zealand's Prime Minister 10 minutes before the attack and has widely circulated throughout the public.

The suspect is then said to have driven about 5km (three miles) to another mosque in the suburb of Linwood where the second shooting occurred.

Thirty-four people were in Christchurch Hospital, with 12 in intensive care, while a child was moved to a children's hospital in Auckland.

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Police commissioner Mike Bush added that 36 victims remain in hospital, with two of them in a critical condition.

"We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement to People.

"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today", she said.

Rashid, who can be seen in the video trying to tackle the gunman, was killed along with his son.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack", said Ardern.

Aziz, originally from Afghanistan, said he picked up one of the gunman's discarded weapons and threatened the man, who drove off.

The Pacific Music Awards organisation in New Zealand also expressed its shock and solidarity over the shootings.

Officers arrested two others following the attacks and are now working to establish whether they had any involvement in the terror attacks against the Muslim community in New Zealand. But he said some people frustrated because "they want to get on with their grieving process".

The Fijian rugby team also expressed their solidarity with the people of New Zealand after the attacks.

Huge piles of flowers were laid at sites near the mosques and crowds of people of all faiths gathered to pay respects.

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