Police Say New Zealand Terror Attack Suspect Planned Third Attack

Zaed Mustafa, in wheelchair, brother of Hamza and son of Khalid Mustafa killed in the mosque shootings reacts during their burial at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The suspect accused of carrying out Friday’s terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, was likely on his way to carry out a third shooting before he was stopped by authorities, New Zealand’s top police official said.

Fifty people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside two mosques last week. Authorities have charged Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, with murder in connection with the incident. More charges are expected.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Wednesday that authorities “absolutely” believe they stopped the suspect “on the way to a further attack.”

“Lives were saved,” he added, but declined to go into detail to not “traumatize others.”

The first funerals were held Wednesday for Khaled Mustafa, 44, and his son, 16-year-old Hamza.

Hundreds of people stood in solemn silence at Memorial Park Cemetery, where graves had been dug to bury dozens of victims.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was back in Christchurch, Wednesday, to offer comfort to those affected by the tragedy.

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SOURCE: CNN, Joshua Berlinger and Hilary Whiteman