© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Alleged mosque gunman makes first court appearance

Charlotte Thieme

Brenton Harrison Tarrant was arrested following the attack that left 49 dead.

The man allegedly responsible for the Christchurch Mosque Massacre made his first appearance in the Christchurch District Court today

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, was charged with one count of murder.

He was escorted into the dock handcuffed, and appeared calm and collected as he surveyed the courtroom. 

The proceedings were over within minutes, but in that time Tarrant showed no remorse and threw what appeared to be a hand signal associated with white supremacy.

REACTION OUTSIDE COURT

Omar Nabi, who lost his father in the attack at Masjid Al Noor Mosque on Deans Ave, was outside the Justice Precinct prior to Tarrant's appearance. 

He said 71-year-old Haji-Daoud Nabi died while trying to shield another from the gunfire.

A tourist from Quebec, Line Labrecque, was there after the court appearance, and said she had seen the live video that circulated.

Labrecque said she was shocked at the similarities between the Christchurch mosque shooting, and the one in her home town, Quebec City.

One name painted on the side of bullet clips from the attack was that of Alexandre Bissonnette, the man responsible for the Quebec shooting in 2017 that resulted in six deaths.

The court hearing today was closed to the public due to the heightened security risk. 

Tarrant was remanded in custody, and will appear again in the High Court on April 5 to enter his plea.