A 29-year-old Australian man who pled guilty to killing 51 people in a shooting spree at two Muslim mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been sentenced to life in prison without any possibility for parole.
The shootings occurred in March 2019 and are viewed in the country as an act of terrorism by a white supremacist. This is the first instance of a sentence of life without parole handed down under New Zealand's current laws. Charges against the gunman included 51 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of terrorism.
Prosecutors say he planned methodically for the killings, studying the layout of the two mosques and stockpiling weapons. He also broadcast footage of some of the attack online.
Lead prosecutor Mark Zarifeh said the gunman is "clearly New Zealand's worst murderer."
"The enormity of the offending in this case is without comparison in New Zealand's criminal history," he said.
The sentencing came after several days of victim impact statements read in court. The gunman did not oppose his sentence or express any remorse.