Family of alleged New Zealand terror attacker say he should be executed

Will Metcalfe

Donna Cox, left, the cousin of suspected Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant who is believed to have killed more than 50 people in an attack on two mosques, has said she believes he should die for what he has allegedly done.

The family of the man believed to be behind the death of 50 worshippers in a New Zealand mosque have said he deserves the death penalty.

Brenton Tarrant was arrested in connection with the attacks which were livestreamed on Facebook on Friday.

The 28-year-old was seen to smirk and give a sign associated with white supremacist groups as he was charged with one count of murder on Saturday.

And now, his cousin Donna Cox says it “hurts” to be related to him in an interview with Australia’s Sunday Night TV Show.

Donna Cox said her cousin, Brenton Tarrant, deserves the death penalty. Source: Sunday Night
This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the state-run Turkish broadcaster TRT World and made available on Saturday, March 16, 2016, shows the arrival of who it says is Brenton Tarrant, the suspect in the New Zealand mosque attacks, in Istanbul’s Ataturk International airport in Turkey on March 2016.  (TRT World via AP)

She said: “I know what he deserves. He deserves the death penalty for what he’s done. That hurts because he is family.

“Just what he’s putting his family through. That he is from… a very respected family, his mum, his dad, were pretty high in the community here.

“He wasn’t raised like that, but I’m not here to defend him. If I could ask him – I’d ask him why. How could you do that?

“That’s a twisted mind right there. You’d have to be to be able to do something like that.”

Tarrant’s mother and sister are understood to be under police protection following the horrific incident.

Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old terrorist who opened fire in New Zealand last week, has fired his lawyer and will represent himself in court. To recall, two mosques- Al Noor and Linwood were attacked, during Friday prayers, killing 50 people and injuring over 40. Australian-born Tarrant had strong anti-immigration and anti-Islam thoughts and came to NZ only to execute the attack. Further investigation is underway.
A police officer stands guard near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, where one of the two mass shootings occurred. A white supremacist suspected in shootings at two mosques that killed 49 people during midday Friday prayers posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online and apparently used a helmet-mounted camera to broadcast live video of the slaughter on Facebook. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Updated graphic on the Christchurch shooting attack

Ms Cox said as a child Tarrant was obsessed with violent computer games.

His father, who worked as a bin man, died from cancer in 2010.

After his father’s death, Tarrant began travelling around Europe.

Bulgarian and Turkish authorities are investigating his travel history, determining whether he had ulterior motives for frequenting their countries over the span of seven years.

But British security sources are not believed to be investigating potential links – despite some media reports.

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet ministers had met and made an in-principle decision to tighten gun ownership but details still need to be worked out.

Ms Ardern also announced an inquiry into the country’s intelligence services.

Separately, a Christchurch gun shop acknowledged selling guns online to the alleged gunman.

At a news conference, Gun City owner David Tipple said the store sold four guns and ammunition through a “police-verified online mail order process”.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responds after shootings at 2 mosques

The store “detected nothing extraordinary,” about the buyer, he said.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police are certain a lone gunman was responsible for the shootings.

“I would like to state that we believe absolutely there was only one attacker responsible for this,” he told a news conference.

Tarrant will re-appear in New Zealand’s High Court on April 5, when he is expected to face extra charges.

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