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By Kalhan Rosenblatt
The death toll in the mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques has risen to 50, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Sunday local time.
The 50th victim was found inside one of the two mosques involved in the attacks, Bush said.
“As of last night we were able to take all of the victims from both of those scenes and in doing so we have located a further victim,” Bush said in a news conference.
A total of 50 people were injured with 36 hospitalized, including one child, Bush said.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national, was charged with murder in the shooting during Friday prayers in Christchurch. Bush said he would appear in court April 5.
Three other people were also arrested after the shooting, but Bush said “at this point we do not believe that they were involved in these attacks.”
One woman was released without charges, and a man, who was in possession of a gun, has been charged with firearm offenses, according to Bush. They are not believed to have been involved in the attack, Bush said.
An 18-year-old man also was arrested and will appear in court, Bush said, but added that the arrest was “tangentially related” and the man was not believed to have been involved with the shooting.
Bush said in the news conference that police were still investigating the weapons used but said the guns had been altered.
“It’s quite obvious that he modified a category-A firearm,” Bush said.
Bush confirmed the suspect held a New Zealand Arms Act firearms license, which he obtained in 2017 while in New Zealand.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday local time that “our gun laws will change” in the wake of what authorities called an unprecedented act of violence, and she suggested she was looking at the issues around ownership of semi-automatic weapons.