SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand suffered its worst peacetime shooting as at least one gunman, a suspected white supremacist, killed 49 people during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, the largest city on South Island. [nL3N2125DQ]
Violent crime is rare in New Zealand and police do not usually carry guns, though mass shootings have occurred previously. Here is a list of some previous incidents.
- A lone shooter killed six people, including his father, and wounded four others in the ski-lodge hamlet of Raurimu. He was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity.
- Seven members of the Bain family were shot dead in Dunedin, South Island’s second largest city. A surviving son was convicted of their murders in 1995, but later acquitted at a retrial in 2009 and awarded a payout of almost NZ$1 million ($680,000).
- At a farm outside Auckland, Brian Schlaepfer shot and stabbed six members of his own family before killing himself with a shotgun.
- A gun-mad loner killed 13 men, women and children in a 24-hour rampage in the tiny seaside village of Aramoana. He was killed by police. It prompted a modest tightening of gun laws.
- Forty-eight prisoners-of-war and a guard died when officers opened fire on rioting inmates at a camp holding Japanese soldiers captured during the Guadalcanal Campaign. A court martial determined prisoners were responsible, but no charges were pressed.
($1 = 1.4613 New Zealand dollars)
Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore