The main suspect in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques was charged with one count of murder on Saturday, a day after the attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens, prompting the prime minister to vow reform of the country's gun laws.
"This individual has travelled around the world with sporadic periods of time spent in New Zealand", Ms Ardern said on Saturday.
She confirmed that the gunman and two suspected associates who were also arrested had not been on the radar of any intelligence agencies, even though he had published a manifesto online indicating plans for attacks on Muslims.
That said, the two countries are dramatically different in size, with New Zealand having a population of less than 4.8 million people while the USA has an estimated 327.2 million people, but the gun violence rates are notably different when looked at with comparitive sizes.
Public events across the nation scheduled for the weekend have been cancelled amid safety fears, with police officers and helicopters on patrol.
Relief groups like the New Zealand Red Cross are already helping the community register missing persons, connect with loved ones, or mark themselves safe.
Wounds range from minor to critical, they said.
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She said he had been in possession of a "category A" gun licence, obtained during 2017, which allowed him to legally obtain the weapons in December 2017 and that he was not on any watchlists prior to the attacks.
"People started to pass by us with blood stains on their clothes, they were very scared and their voices were trembling, some people could not even speak", restaurant manager Prakash Sapkota, who was near the mosques, told Euronews.
"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern told reporters, saying a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be considered.
Jacinda Ardern noted several earlier attempts to reform the gun laws in 2005, 2012 and 2017.
Another man said he saw children being shot.
Notification of a shooting at the second mosque followed, before video emerged of police ramming a vehicle and pulling out the occupant.
28-year-old terroris charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019.
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Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed, most of whom were born overseas.
A post on a message board website linked to Tarrant also said the attack "against the invaders" would be live-streamed on social media.
"He had a big gun.He came and started shooting everyone in the mosque, everywhere", said the man, Ahmad Al-Mahmoud.
She is due to visit met with members of the Muslim community and first responders on Saturday.
I have spoken this evening to the mayor of Christchurch and I intend to speak this evening to the Imam.
Leaders across the world, including Queen Elizabeth, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Pope Francis and United States president Donald Trump have sent condolences and condemned the attack.
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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that he learned of the attack "with horror and profound sadness". Meanwhile, Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director, also condemned the armed attack on Twitter.