'We're so sorry': 'Gobsmacked' family of alleged gunman apologises for Christchurch terror attack

The family of the Australian man charged with Friday's massacre has apologised for his actions.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, is allegedly the gunman responsible for 50 deaths in two Christchurch mosques. He appeared in court on Saturday and has been remanded in custody.

Now his relatives have spoken out about the mass shooting, one of the deadliest in history. Tarrant's uncle Terry Fitzgerald apologised to New Zealanders affected in an interview on Sunday.

"We are so sorry for the families over there, for the dead and the injured," he told Australia's 9 News. "What he has done is just not right."

His mother Marie, Tarrant's 81-year-old grandmother, says her family is "gobsmacked" by the terror attack.

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"The media is saying he has planned it for a long time so he is obviously not of sound mind," she told Nine News.

"It's just so much of everything to take in that somebody in our family would do anything like this."

Tarrant was born in Grafton, New South Wales and began travelling the world after his father died. He visited a number of western European countries, where he seemingly became obsessed with immigrant communities and what he perceived as a threat to white birth rates.

According to a lengthy manifesto sent out just minutes before the shooting began on Friday, Tarrant moved to Dunedin in 2017 to "plan and train" for a race-based massacre.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is considering legal options to deport Tarrant, although said on Sunday he would face the full force of the New Zealand justice system before that.


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