Two New Zealand Mosques, a Hate-Filled Massacre Designed for Its Time

The wounded tried to crawl away or lie still, while others ran or crouched behind the dead, but the gunman kept pulling the trigger.
He shot fleeing women and girls, and pumped bullet after bullet into piles of motionless men and boys in a house of worship.
The man accused of carrying out the worst mass murder in New Zealand’s modern history, one that left 49 people dead and more than 40 others wounded at two mosques in Christchurch, was identified in court documents on Saturday as Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28. The suspect, who officials said is an Australian citizen, was charged with one count of murder, and more were expected to come.
Three other people were detained by the police, though one was released hours later. An 18-year-old local man was charged with “intent to excite hostility or ill-will,” but court officials would not elaborate.
The horror was designed specifically for an era that has married social media and racism — a massacre apparently motivated by white extremist hatred, streamed live on Facebook and calculated to go viral.
The shooting represented a staggering corruption of a form of communication, used innocently by millions, that promised to draw people together but has also helped pry them apart into warring camps. It also shattered a veneer of civility and security in one of the safest and most highly developed countries in the world.
A man at the door to Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue called out “hello, brother,” just before the approaching killer opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle. Seconds later, a wounded man, trying to crawl away, was shot again at point-blank range.
Within moments, terror and chaos gripped the people gathered at the mosque for Friday Prayer, as they ran, screamed and tried to climb the walls around the building. Parents tried to shield their children, others ducked behind or under parked cars, and at least one nearby resident opened her home to shelter people fleeing the mayhem.

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