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Girl, 4, who survived Christchurch mosque attack wants to face shooter

Girl, 4, who miraculously survived the Christchurch mosque massacre wants to face the shooter in court – so she can ask him one tragic question

  • A four-year-old victim of the Christchurch mosque shooter wants to ask ‘why’? 
  • Brenton Tarrant admitted to murdering 51 Muslims in the attack in March 2019 
  • The 29-year-old Australian is expected to be jailed for life for the brutal assault
  • The victim’s father said facing Tarrant could be important for her rehabilitation 

A four-year-old girl who suffered brain damage in the horrific Chirstchurch mosque attack wants to face the shooter in court to ask him ‘why?’ 

Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 people and injured dozens more in a brutal massacre at the Al-Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15 2019.

The 29-year-old Australian live-streamed his assault on New Zealand Muslim community members on Facebook and later pleaded guilty to his charges.

The young victim, who is now six and cannot be named to protect her identity, has expressed interest in facing the white supremacist in court.

Her father told Stuff she is recovering from her injuries and has started to regain memories of the horror assault.

Brenton Tarrant (pictured during his first court appearance on March 16, 2019) pleaded guilty to murdering 51 Muslims in the Christchurch mosque attack in March 2019

A man with bloodstains on his trousers meets with police and other survivors near the mosque after the shooting

‘She remembers everything from that day. She just asked me, “Why did he hurt me?”‘ he said.

The girl spent three months recovering in hospital and struggles to walk properly as a result of her injuries.

Her father said he would inquire about whether she can read an impact statement to the shooter in court, as a vital part of her recovery.

‘To show him we can stand in front of him. You’re nothing without the guns,’ he said. 

Psychologist Sara Chatwin said while children generally do not speak in court, the process could be valuable for the victim’s rehabilitation.

‘It may be that the child is able to do that in a way that lessens some of the angst that she suffered,’ she said.

Tarrant (pictured in court via video link) published a manifesto which detailed how his actions in the assault were racially motivated

Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act and is expected to be jailed for life.

The terror charge against him was the first prosecution of its kind in New Zealand.

Tarrant first entered the Al Noor Mosque as Friday prayers were beginning and opened fire.

Worshipers scrambled as the shots rang out. Some managed to smash windows to escape, while others had to lay with the bloodied bodies and pretend to be dead.

Tarrant then drove to the Linwood Mosque on the other side of the city and continued shooting.

Two police officers managed to finally stop the shooter by ramming their car into his gold Subaru Outback.

A woman with flowers to offer as tribute for the victims of the attack at the Botanical Garden in Christchurch

The horrific terror attack in Christchurch, which left 51 worshipers dead, has been described as New Zealand’s darkest day (Pictured: victims)

They dragged Tarrant out of the car, and he was arrested.

Inside the car were improvised explosive devices, which were later disarmed.

A 73-page manifesto was published detailing how his actions were racially motivated and how he was inspired by Norway mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 in 2011. 

Tarrant, who describes himself as a far-right fascist, came to his radical views from conversations in dark corners on the internet, consolidated on trips to Europe.

He grew up in the northern New South Wales town of Grafton, moving to New Zealand in 2017 and settling in the South Island town of Dunedin.

Tarrant will remain in a maximum-security jail in Auckland ahead of his sentencing on August 24.


A 28-year-old Australian man entered a mosque in central Christchurch on Friday afternoon and opened fire on people gathered inside the building – killing 51 people and leaving dozens more injured.

This is how the incident unfolded in local New Zealand Time on March 15, 2019.

1.40pm: First reports of a shooting at a mosque in central Christchurch. 

A man entered the mosque with an automatic weapon and opened fire on people inside. 

2.11pm: Police confirmed they were attending an ‘evolving situation’ in Christchruch.

Gunshots are heard in the area outside Masid Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots, with one saying she attempted to give CPR to an injured person but they died.

2.17pm: Multiple schools went into lockdown in Christchurch. 

People who were in the mosque began to leave covered in blood and with gunshot wounds.

2.47pm: First reports of six people dead, three in a critical condition and three with serious injuries.

2.54pm:  Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the situation is ‘serious and evolving’ and told people to remain indoors and stay off the streets.

The Canterbury District Health Board activated its mass casualty plan.

3.12pm: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cancelled her afternoon arrangements.

3.21pm: Christchurch City Council locked down many of their central city buildings. 

3.33pm: First reports of a bomb in a beige Subaru that crashed on Strickland Street, three kilometres from the shootings.

3.40pm: Police confirmed there were multiple simultaneous attacks on mosques in Christchurch.

3.45pm: Reports of multiple shots fired at the shootings, which are ongoing.

3.59pm: 300 people were reported to be inside the moque.

4.00pm: One person is confirmed to be in custody but there are warnings there may be others out there.

Police commissioner Mike Bush urges Muslims across New Zealand to stay away from their local mosque.

4.10pm: Jacinda Ardern calls Friday ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’. 

5.27pm: First reports of a second shooting.

A witness said a Muslim local chased the shooters at the mosque in Linwood, firing in ‘self defence’. 

5.31pm: Four people are confirmed to be in custody. including one woman.

Multiple fatalities were reported.

7.07pm: It was confirmed an AR15 rifle was used in the attack.

7.20pm: Dunedin Street was cordoned off.

Reports the attackers planned to also target the Al Huda Mosque.

7.26pm: At least 40 people were confirmed dead, Jacinda Ardern confirmed.

7.34pm: Confirmed that 48 people were being treated in hospital. 

7.46pm: Britomart train station in central Auckland was evacuated after bags were found unattended.

The bags were deemed not suspicious. 

8.35pm: New Zealand’s Government confirmed this is the first time ever the terror level has been lifted from low to high.

9.03pm: Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirms that the death toll has risen to 49.

Brenton Tarrant was later charged with murder, and the death toll rose to 51.

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