March 21, 2019 1:56 am

Christchurch shooting suspect was charged with murdering someone who’s not dead: police

March 15: A suspect in the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings makes a court appearance on Saturday.


The New Zealand Police have admitted that the suspect in last week’s shootings at two mosques in Christchurch was charged with killing a woman who’s not actually dead, reports said Thursday local time.

A woman’s name was erroneously included on court charge sheets for the suspect’s first appearance, the NZ Herald reported.

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The woman is believed to be connected to the shootings but she’s still alive, said Det.-Supt. Chris Page, as quoted by Stuff.

“We have been to see her today [Thursday] and apologized,” he said.

“The name was supposed to represent many victims and someone was just trying to do the right thing.

“We made a mistake and we will own it.”

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national, has so far been charged with a single count of murder. The alleged victim’s name has been suppressed.

Tarrant is expected to face a “bundle” of new charges at a court appearance on April 5, Stuff reported.

Page said the police error won’t affect the legality of Tarrant’s prosecution.

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READ MORE: Why court photos of the alleged New Zealand mosque shooter’s face are blurred

The revelation came as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the government would ban semi-automatic and assault rifles in laws that she expected would be enacted by April 11.

The government also expects to establish a buy-back scheme for banned weapons.

But the guns aren’t the only equipment that are being banned; Ardern said the government would also outlaw parts used to convert weapons into semi-automatics, as well as high-capacity magazines.

The Christchurch shootings were carried out using an AR-15, the same gun that was used in a massacre that killed 35 people in Port Arthur, Australia in 1996.

Australia subsequently banned semi-automatics and launched a buy-back program for such weapons.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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