“Fired in self defense.”
One of the shootings at New Zealand mosques Friday reportedly ended when an armed prayer-goer returned fire, causing the attackers to flee.
The man was a worshipper at the Linwood Mosque, which was targeted along with the Al Noors Mosque in a pair of attacks in central Christchurch that left 49 people dead, local media reported. At least 10 people were killed in the Linwood shooting.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the “well known Muslim local” chased the shooters with a rifle or shotgun, and fired two shots at them as they sped off in a car.
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He was heard telling police officers he was firing in “self defense”.
“They were in a silver Subaru,” he told police.
A number of liberals claimed that conservatives were ignoring the man’s act of bravery because he was Muslim.
Also, you notice that the "good guy with a gun" crowd is not rushing to urge more Muslims to arm themselves.
— Mark Strauss (@MarkDStrauss) March 15, 2019
But no less a right-wing authority than National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch hailed the man as a “good guy with a gun.”
Good guy with a gun. Make terrorists afraid of ever targeting innocents again. https://t.co/k03iiFEbqa
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 15, 2019
Breitbart News editor Joel Pollak said the man “likely saved dozens of lives.”
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) March 15, 2019
Conservative commentator Carmine Sabia went out of his way to identify the hero as Muslim.
An armed Muslim man likely saved many lives. Good guy with a gun. https://t.co/sj5IA5zWr2
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) March 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, and others sought to tie the shootings to the US debate over gun rights, as well as to American white supremacy and President Donald Trump. She faced swift backlash for instantly framing a foreign tragedy in highly partisan American terms.
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Gunmen entered the mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers and opened fire. In addition to the dead, dozens of people were reportedly injured, including children.
New Zealand police said that four people – three men and one woman – had been taken into custody over the shootings. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia said that one of them was Australian.
One of the shooters seemed well-versed in U.S. internet politics, and intent on inflaming them. In a gruesome Facebook livestream of his rampage, which has since been removed, the gunman urged viewers: “Subscribe to PewDiePie” – the alias of Felix Kjellberg, a popular and provocative YouTuber.
Before the shooting, someone appearing to be the gunman posted links to a white-nationalist manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online forum known for far-right-wing discussions. In the 87-page document, which is steeped in sarcasm and irony, he said he had chosen to carry out the attack with firearms to further divide Americans over guns.
According to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush, a man in his late 20s had been charged with murder and would appear in Christchurch court on Saturday morning,
In a press conference Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days and that her “thoughts” were with those affected by the shootings.” Calling the massacre a “terrorist attack” and “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” she raised the raised the national security threat to the second-highest level.
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