An extremely disturbing, graphic live video streamed on the Brenton Tarrant Facebook page shows a casual and determined gunman strolling up to a Christchurch mosque and randomly and chillingly shooting dozens of people, including one man crawling away on the ground and others who were already wounded or dead and huddled in a corner. At one point, the white nationalist terrorist goes up to a woman crying out for help on the sidewalk outside the New Zealand mosque and shoots her in the head.
The New Zealand prime minister says at least 50 people were killed, including some children. Another 20 people are wounded. The gunman – now identified as 28-year-old former Australian fitness trainer Brenton Tarrant by authorities – flashed a white power sign during his first court appearance.
The video is bizarre and disturbing to the extreme as it shows the gunman – who had a GoPro like device fastened to his helmet – from the first-person shooter perspective, almost like a body cam. You can see screenshots from the Facebook Live video throughout this article, although Heavy is not running any pictures that show bodies and has chosen not to embed the full video because of its graphic nature. “There wasn’t even time to aim. There were so many targets,” Tarrant says casually in the full video at one point. The mass shooting, which unfolded in March 2019, has horrified the world.
In addition, a person who appeared to be the same gunman also posted a link to the live video and manifesto in a chat thread called 8chan, which is described by The New York Times as “an online forum known for extremist right-wing discussion.” The user wrote, “Well lads, it’s time to stop sh*tposting and time to make a real life effort post. I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even live stream the attack via facebook.”
Various contributors to the extremely disturbing chat thread then cheered the writer on, with some posting Nazi symbols. “Best of luck Brenton Tarrant,” wrote one. “Brenton Tarrant is a f*cking hero” wrote another, as they watched it unfold live, sharing screenshots.
In the manifesto, Tarrant says he received the blessing from a group called the “reborn Knights Templar” (after the Christian soldiers during the Crusades) and indicates he was inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who also wrote a manifesto that talked about a reborn Knights Templar, although prosecutors thought Breivik made it up to inspire others. You can read more about Breivik and the so-called reborn Knights Templar here.
After moving from one mosque, Tarrant went to another 3.5 miles away and shot people there too, authorities say, but the video he streamed only shows the first mosque. New Zealand police say 3 men and 1 woman are in custody – including Tarrant – after the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch. They’ve been very cryptic about the other people and haven’t explained their alleged involvement, if any, but Tarrant is the only shooter seen in the video.
The prime minister has called the shooter an extremist right-wing terrorist who is an Australian citizen. Authorities say the situation was still urgent hours after it broke out, and they asked all New Zealand mosques to temporarily close their doors to be safe.
Brenton Tarrant also posted disturbing images of weaponry and anti-Muslim sentiments on Twitter and linked to a disturbing manifesto that ranted about “white genocide,” immigration, Muslims, and European birthrates. In the manifesto, Tarrant wrote that he supported Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik and racist Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, among others, and added, “I have only had brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik, receiving a blessing for my mission after contacting his brother knights.” He said he had read Roof’s writings.
Tarrant labeled himself an eco-fascist and added that “the person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens.” The manifesto poses the question of whether he is a supporter of Donald Trump. He answered, “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.”
The Facebook page in Tarrant’s name appears to have streamed the mosque mass shooting on Facebook Live for almost a full 17 minutes. Police did confirm in a tweet that they were aware of the footage.
“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed,” New Zealand police wrote on Twitter. They stated that there were “a number of fatalities.” Judging from the scenes in the video, there are likely dozens injured if not deceased.
One of the first victims to be identified is Daoud Nabi; his son told NBC News that his dad heroically died while trying to shield another person. You can read a tribute to him here. You can see a roundup of tributes to all of the victims here as their names are released.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Graphic Brenton Tarrant Facebook Live Video Starts Out With the Gunman in a Car Playing Music & Ends With Mass Murder
In the longer version of the video, you see the shooter in his car with multiple rifles at his side. He appears to be wearing military gear. You can hear the GPS giving him directions to the mosque in the chilling video. He is wearing gloves with the fingers cut out and plays music – a song called “Remove Kebab” about ethnic cleansing – during the ride. Later he plays an 18th century marching song called “British Grenadiers.” He then walks into the mosque and coldly and randomly begins to gun people down. The images and sounds in the video are absolutely terrifying and terrible as the wounded moan and the gunman shoots at clusters of bodies in a corner over and over again.
The extremely disturbing Facebook live video, shows Tarrant walking toward the mosque through a gate and then up to the front door. You see him aim the gun at the door and start shooting a person in it. He walks past a dead body and screams erupt. He shoots several people in a hall and then walks into a larger communal area and shoots other people. Bodies lay crumpled on the ground. A man runs past at one point and he reloads. It’s impossible to describe how disturbing the graphic video is.
You can see writing on his rifle as he walks around shooting people randomly. He then walks into the area and shoots at bodies already lying on the ground. He reloads again, and the extremely graphic and disturbing video ends, at least the version that made it to YouTube. In the longer version of the video, the gunman walks out of the mosque and shoots down a sidewalk. He gets another weapon and goes back into the mosque to shoot at people some more. He fires for about six minutes with no sign of law enforcement before driving off and shooting outside his window.
The Sydney Morning Herald said the hospital was told to prepare for between 40 and 50 people.
According to RNZ, a New Zealand radio outlet, an eyewitness reported seeing four people “lying on the ground,” and commented: “there was blood everywhere.”
The Gunman’s Manifesto Rants About Immigration & ‘White Genocide’
Brenton Tarrant also filled his Twitter page with anti-Muslim and immigration sentiments and weaponry. The gunman’s rambling manifesto laments declining birthrates among Europeans and “mass immigration” and declares it “white genocide.”
In the manifesto, he answers a series of questions that people might pose to a mass shooter. It’s basically a Q and A with himself. At the beginning of the video, he says, “subscribe to PewDiePie.” At the end of the manifesto, he says, “Europa arises.”
On Twitter, the now-suspended Brenton Tarrant page posted about Muslims, birthrates, white genocide, and terrorist attacks. “How many of these attacks are quickly forgotten?” he wrote on Twitter on March 12, 2019 shortly after sharing a news story on an attack by an immigrant against a girl in Sweden. “God bless the fallen,” he wrote. The posts on the page are all from March.
Here are some of his posts. He also posted about white women having lower fertility rates and shared stories on extremists in the German military and the “global Muslim population.”
Many of his posts were shares of news stories against immigrants and Muslims.
The manifesto was posted multiple times by the Brenton Tarrant Twitter page in its final tweet. Heavy has read it in full. In part, it says, “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. If there is one thing I want you to remember from thes writings, its that the birthrates must change. Even if we were to deport all Non-Europeans from our lands tomorrow, the European people would still be spiraling into decay and eventual death.”
The manifesto also rants about “mass immigration” in juxtaposition to European birthrates. He calls it a “crisis of mass immigration and sub-replacement fertility” and calls that “an assault on the European people.” In another spot, the manifesto rants about killing prominent politicians: “KILL ANGELA MERKEL, KILL ERDOGAN, KILL SADIQ KHAN.”
Heavy is choosing not to publish the full manifesto. Here is one small section of it so you can get the sense of it:
In one bizarre section, he asked himself questions and then answered them. Who is he? He wrote: “Just a ordinary white man, 28 years old. Born in Australia to a working class, low income family. My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock. I had a regular childhood, without any great issues. I had little interest in education during my schooling, barely achieving a passing grade.” He claimed he invested in “bitconnect,” used the money to travel, and added, “I am just a regular white man, from a regular family. Who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people.”
Asked why he is resorting to violence, he explained, “There is no nation in the world that wasn’t founded by, or maintained by, the use of force. Force is power. History is the history of power. Violence is power and violence is the reality of history. Wake up.”
He said that “Australian (sic) is a European colony, particularly of British stock and thereby an extension of Europe.” He said he blamed immigrants and capitalists and added, “I blame both, and plan to deal with both.”
As to why he attacked Muslims, he wrote, “They are the most despised group of invaders in the West, attacking them receives the greatest level of support.” He ranted about climate change, saying that by killing “the invaders” he could “kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment.”
Part of his manifesto contains a passage headlined “to conservatives.”
“Conservatism is dead. Thank god. Now let us bury it and move on to something of worth,” he wrote. Another section was headlined “to Christians.” He wrote, “Let our lives be stronger than death to fight against the enemies of the Christian people.” Another passage was headlined “to Antifa/Marxists/Communists.” He explained, “I do not want to convert you…I want you in my sights. I want your neck under my boot.”
The manifesto refers to Turks as “roaches” and orders “flee to your own lands, while you still have the chance.” He claimed that European men “are to blame. Weak men have created this situation and strong men are needed to fix it.”
He trashes “suicidal, nihilistic and degenerate pop icons produced from a dead culture,” mentioning Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kurt Cobin, and Freddy Mercury. He advocates “green nationalism.” He urges people to kill “high profile enemies,” saying that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “the mother of all things anti-white and anti-germanic, is top of the list.”
A few moments later, the Twitter page that contained the manifesto links was suspended. However, Heavy has reviewed and saved much of its contents. The cover picture of a Twitter page in the name Brenton Tarrant shows a body lying on the ground with a doll next to it. Writings on the weaponry displayed on Twitter match news accounts that the Christchurch gunman scrawled the names of other mass shooters on his rifle.
Stuff reported that the unidentified gunman might have scrawled the names of other attackers on his rifle, including Alexandre Bissonette and Luca Traini. Bissonnette killed six people in a Quebec mosque. Traini targeted North African migrants in Italy. He also refers to “Rotherham,” an apparent reference to a massive child exploitation ring.
Police Confirmed They Were Dealing With a ‘Serious & Evolving Situation With an Active Shooter’
Police released a series of urgent tweets as the shooting news broke and later asked all New Zealand mosques to temporarily close their doors.
“In response to a serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown,” New Zealand police wrote on Twitter. “Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.” Police also wrote, “Police are currently responding to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at around 1:40 p.m. Armed police have been deployed.”
Police also wrote that the situation was not contained early on: “A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter. Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.”
Sam Clarke, a reporter with TVNZ, told Al Jazeera that the gunman had a machine gun.
“A gunman – dressed in black with a helmet carrying a machine gun – came into the back of the mosque and started firing into the people praying there,” said Clarke, according to Al Jazeera. He described “many people had been hit, some as young as 16.”
Witnesses told RadioNZ that the shooter entered during afternoon prayers and was wearing “a helmet and glasses and a military style jacket.” One reporter indicated that eight people were admitted to Christchurch-area hospitals. Another witness told Stuff the gunman used up two magazines and described that there were “bodies all over me.”
Muhammad Nazir, a witness, told Stuff that he heard people yelling “help” and believed the gunman was positioned outside the mosque while firing inside it. There were several hundred people inside the mosque at the time.
Another witness told ABC.net.au, “I heard a big sound of the gun. And a second one, I ran. Lots of people were sitting on the floor. I ran behind the mosque.”