As New Zealand reels from the Christchurch mosque massacre where 50 worshipers were killed, more than 10,000 showed solidarity through a silent march in Dunedin, in New Zealand’s South Island, where the killer had lived for the past two years.
Marchers went through Dunedin to a rugby stadium where roughly 15,000 people congregated for a somber vigil.
The killer is Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, who is a self-avowed white supremacist. Last Friday, he drove from Dunedin all the way to Christchurch, 220 miles to the north, where he gunned down 50 people in two mosques.
Tarrant took advantage of the country’s relatively lax gun laws in order to acquire the semi-automatic weapons he used in last Friday’s massacre.
The marchers started from the University of Otago which is roughly 20 minutes away on foot from Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Thousands more streamed in at the stadium for ceremonies that included Maori incantations and Muslim prayers.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull encouraged all New Zealanders to unite in support of those left bereft by the tragedy.
“We need to examine what needs to change so that this does not happen again,” he said. “To my Muslim brothers and sisters… you are a precious part of us and we embrace you.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also announced an immediate ban on the military-style semi-automatic weapons used in the shootings.
In Christchurch, hundreds of mourners also turned out for a second straight day for the funerals of the victims.
Ardern announced a national remembrance ceremony but no date has yet been given.
Police also apologized to a woman who was mistakenly listed as one of those dead in the mosque attack. The mistake occurred when Tarrant faced Christchurch District Court on Saturday with a charge of murder.
Tarrant, who will likely face additional charges, was slapped with one charge of murdering a woman who was unidentified because her name was suppressed by Judge Paul Kellar.
While the woman was connected to the fatalities, she is actually alive and well.
A police spokesperson said, “An error was made in the charging document prepared for the first court appearance of the man charged with murder in relation to the Christchurch terror attacks.
“The error saw an incorrect victim name included in the charging document.”
Police have already communicated to the woman and the charge sheet will be corrected.
“We have spoken with the person incorrectly named on the charging document and apologized.
“The charge sheet will be amended. New Zealand Police regret this error and apologize for any harm caused by the mistake.”
“Retired Carpenter Builds 58 Crosses For Las Vegas Shooting”