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Christchurch mosque shooter changes plea to guilty
© WikiMedia (Kristina Hoeppner)
Christchurch mosque shooter changes plea to guilty

The man who opened fire and killed dozens of New Zealand worshipers last March, pleaded guilty to all 51 charges of murder Thursday.

New Zealand’s worst mass shooting took place on March 15 of last year, when Australian man Brendon Tarrant opened fire on two Christchurch mosques with an automatic weapon, killing 51 people. Tarrant originally pleaded not guilty to the charges last year.

New Zealand Prime Minister of Jacinda Ardern stated, “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened.”

The 29-year old, who was originally due to face a formal trial in June of this year, made a surprising choice to admit to all 51 charges of murder. Tarrant also pleaded guilty to an additional 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act. Tarrant will be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 10 years. Tarrant admitted to the mosque attacks virtually, as the New Zealand prison system has adapted to the changes inflicted by the novel coronavirus.