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New Zealand shooting: Death toll rises to 50 in attack on mosque

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By Kalhan Rosenblatt  with NBC News World News
Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 16, 2019.   -   Copyright  Vincent Thian

The death toll in the mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques has risen to 50, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said during a press conference on Saturday.

The 50th victim was located 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.

Bush added that the number of those injured was also 50, with 36 people hospitalized, which included one child.

A 28-year-old man had been arrested and charged with murder in the shooting, Bush said, adding that the man would appear in court on April 5.

Three other people were also arrested after the shooting. 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.

Another 18-year-old man was arrested and will appear in court, Bush said, but added that the arrest was "tangentially related" and that the man was not believed to have been involved with the shooting.


During the press conference, Bush said 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.