A terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, left at least 49 people dead and injured dozens of others on Friday.
Three men and one woman were taken into custody on Friday evening, according to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush. One of them, a man in his late 20s, has been charged with murder.
Of those killed, 41 were worshipping at the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch during Friday prayers. Several more were shot at another mosque in the nearby neighborhood Linwood.
The gunmen live-streamed horrific footage of their attack on Facebook. Video was also posted on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, prompting public outcry for the platforms to fight violent hate speech.
“This is and will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terror attack.”
Other world leaders, including President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama, and British Prime Minister Theresa May offered condolences.
“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques,” Trump tweeted. “49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
In a manifesto posted on social media, the purported shooter reportedly described Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity.”
YouTuber PewDiePie, who was allegedly also named by the gunman, condemned the attacks as well.
“Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand,” Obama wrote. “We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.”
“On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch,” May said. “My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.”
“My heart breaks for New Zealand & the global Muslim community,” former first lady and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wrote. “We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped.”
New Zealand filmmaker and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, John Legend, Russell Crowe, and other Hollywood figures also expressed devastation.
My heart is broken. My country is weeping and so am I. I am dying knowing that this kind of hatred can happen in my homeland. All my love goes out to Christchurch, the victims, the families, the Muslim community, and all who have chosen our islands as their home. This is not us.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) March 15, 2019
“My heart is broken,” Waititi wrote. “My country is weeping and so am I. I am dying knowing that this kind of hatred can happen in my homeland. All my love goes out to Christchurch, the victims, the families, the Muslim community, and all who have chosen our islands as their home. This is not us.”
Added Galdiator star Russell Crowe: “Senseless, pointless, cruel deaths. My heart breaks for all the families involved, and for the beautiful people of New Zealand to whose hearts this pain will attach, for a long time. Kia Kaha.”
Wrote Thor star Chris Hemsworth: “Much love NZ, my heart goes out to all those involved in this tragedy, victims families friends, NZ.”
“My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and the people of New Zealand,” wrote former Governor of California an Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger. “This is a horrific act of terror but please know that the world stands with you. I stand with you.
“Will and Grace star Debra Messing wrote, “To the Muslim community — my heart is broken by the horror & loss in New Zealand. We are with you, we see you, and we will fight white supremacy and islamaphobia until we are all free of fear. #ChristchurchMosque.”
Keep reading below for more celebrities speaking out following the horrific attack.