Death Toll From New Zealand Mosque Shooting Rises To 51

The death toll from the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has risen, seven weeks after the attack.

A 46-year-old Turkish citizen who was in critical condition after the March 15 shooting at Al Noor Mosque died Friday, local time, according to statements from the New Zealand police and government. The man’s death brings the number of fatalities in the attack to 51.

“My heartfelt condolences go to the family and community of this man who has died overnight in Christchurch Hospital,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement. “This sad news will be felt across Turkey, as well as New Zealand.”

Police said the man’s family asked that his name not be released to the media for publication.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish minister of foreign affairs, tweeted his condolences to the man’s family.

Tributes hang on the fence outside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The shooting rampage at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques rocked New Zealand, a nation with little history of major gun violence.

The gunman is believed to have been motivated by white supremacist beliefs and targeted the mosques during Friday prayers, when many Muslim houses of worship are at their busiest. 

A 28-year-old Australian man was charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder for the attacks. A New Zealand judge in April ordered that he undergo two mental health assessments to determine if he’s fit to stand trial. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 14.

Officials called the shooting “well-planned,” and Ardern described the day of the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest.”

The nation’s Parliament promptly passed sweeping measures to outlaw military-style weapons less than a month after the shootings.

Nine other people who were wounded in the attack remain hospitalized in stable condition, Ardern said Friday. 

“As a country we continue to send our hope for their speedy recovery,” she said.

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