The father of white nationalist terrorist Brenton Tarrant died when the 28-year-old Tarrant was a teenager, according to the father’s obituary.
The background of the gunman is becoming clearer. The mass shootings unfolded at two New Zealand mosques; a Facebook page in Brenton Tarrant’s name shared an extremely disturbing and graphic live video to Facebook showing the massacre in one of them. When it was over, at least 49 people were dead and 20 wounded in a terrorist attack that has shocked the world.
In addition, a Twitter page in Tarrant’s name shared a lengthy, disturbed manifesto that rants against immigration and Muslims and claims whites are undergoing “genocide.” The Brenton Tarrant manifesto contains a bizarre question-and-answer section that reads like an interview. In question after question, he seeks to explain his ideals, motivations, and grievances. Who is he?
Here’s what you need to know:
Tarrant Says He Was Born in Australia to Working Class Parents
In the manifesto, Tarrant describes the backgrounds of his parents both economically and ethnically. According to The Australian, he was the son of a ” triathlon-competing father and an English-teacher mother.” Grafton residents who knew them told the Australian that Tarrant came from a “beautiful family.”
“Just a ordinary white man, 28 years old,” the manifesto explains. “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.”
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, he grew up in Grafton, Australia, where he was known for his interest in fitness. He “ran free athletic programs for children,” the newspaper reported.
Gym manager Tracey Gray, who worked with Brenton Tarrant, told ABC that he “was a very dedicated personal trainer” and she didn’t see any signs he was into firearms.
Rodney Tarrant Died Young of Cancer, Reports Say
Brenton Tarrant lost a parent at a fairly young age.
Tarrant’s father, Rodney, “died from some kind of asbestos-related illness when Tarrant was finishing high school,” ABC reported. The site reported that it’s believed Tarrant has a living sister and mother. His father died at age 49 of cancer in 2010, ABC reported.
Rodney Tarrant’s obituary describes him as “the sixth of nine children to John and Joyce Tarrant, of Great Marlow” and calls him “a dedicated family man, father of Lauren and Brenton, and a competitive athlete.” He married Sharon Fitzgerald in 1984, according to the obit. Rodney worked “on the local garbage run” and was described as having “a very friendly, gentle nature,” according to the obit.
News reports say that Rodney Tarrant left his son some money.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “he reportedly had a sizeable inheritance after his father’s death in 2011,” using it to travel the world. It was on those travels, the manifesto says, that Tarrant became radicalized by what he saw as the “decay” of European culture in the face of mass immigration.
“Recently came into contact with a bit of capital due to the passing away of my father,” the Australian says Brenton Tarrant posted on a stock forum in 2011. “Really don’t want to lose the money as he paid for it with 30+ years of his life.”