Updated Mar 20, 2019

Christchurch shootings: Police believe they stopped a third attack

The coffins of Khalid Mustafa and his son, Hamza Mustafa, 15. Photo: WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

New Zealand Police believe the Christchurch terrorist attack suspect was on his way to another target when they stopped him, according to Mike Bush, the commissioner of police.

What he's saying: "We strongly believe we stopped him on the way to a further attack, so lives were saved," he said Wednesday morning local time.

The latest: The first funerals of the attack victims began taking place in Christchurch around lunchtime Wednesday local time. Khalid Mustafa, 44, and his 15-year-old son, Hamza Mustafa, who arrived as refugees from Syria in 2018, were the first to be buried. A total of 6 funerals had taken place by the end of the day. Others are planned for Friday.

  • Post-mortems have been completed on all 50 victims — the remains of 30 were being released to families Wednesday.
  • Canterbury District Health Board said 29 people were still being treated in Christchurch Hospital — 8 were in critical conditions.
  • A girl, 4, was in a critical condition in an Auckland children's hospital and her father remained in a stable condition in another hospital in the North Island city.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a 2-minute silence would be held Friday, marking one week since the attacks on two Christchurch mosques.
  • Ardern was welcomed at a local school that lost two students in the attacks with a haka pōhiri — a ceremonial dance.

Go deeper

Louisville police chief fired after body cameras found inactive in shooting of black man

Louisville police officers during protests. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired the city's chief of police Steve Conrad after it was discovered that police officers had not activated their body cameras during the shooting of David McAtee, a local black business owner who was killed during protests early Monday morning.

Why it matters: Mandatory body camera policies have proven to be important in efforts to hold police officers accountable for excessive force against civilians and other misconduct. Those policies are under even greater scrutiny as the nation has erupted in protest over the killing of black people at the hands of police.

Increased armed presence planned for D.C. tonight

Demonstrators stand around a fire during a protest near the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Government officials say plans are in place for a significantly heavier armed presence on the streets of Washington, D.C. tonight in response to the increasingly violent protests linked to the death of George Floyd.

What we're hearing: "Tonight you will see increased presence, both police...other agencies, and National Guard presence," a source familiar with the government's plans said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,226,408 — Total deaths: 373,973 — Total recoveries — 2,672,161Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,799,747 — Total deaths: 104,702 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.