Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern awarded the two police officers with a bravery award in a private ceremony on October 16. These two police officials risked their lives to capture and arrest the man who killed 51 people at Christchurch mosques on March 15. The mass shooter, who opened fire in the two mosques, was reportedly heading to the third mosque when the officers managed to ram his car off the road and later took him into the custody. The court has, however, ordered to not disclose the officers' identity while the trial is pending, as the gunman was planning more attacks in the city.
The two officers involved in the capture and arrest of the alleged gunman in the March 15 attacks on two Christchurch mosques are the recipients of the 2019 New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award. https://t.co/566GWa5Mu6— NZ Police Association (@NZPoliceAssn) October 15, 2019
In a written statement by the officers who were awarded, they said that they were simply doing their job. They also believe that it was important for them to know to have played a part in the prevention of further casualties. They further said that they know their families are “truly proud” of what they were able to do. Moreover, the honoured officers were proud of the citizens of New Zealand, who had united in rejecting the extremist views and actions that caused the mass killings of Muslim worshippers.
The President of the New Zealand Police Association, Chris Cahill said that all the other officers are incredibly proud of them and they had faced the decision to risk their lives in a split second. The question, Cahill believes, was answered the two officers with their response with “outstanding bravery” which protected many others from harm. The officers, who had been awarded the Bravery Award 2019 also confessed to have known each other for many years and have also played rugby games together and therefore had complete trust in each other's abilities.
The suspect is identified as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist and is currently facing 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of murder attempts along with one charge of terrorism. Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern announced on October 14 that over the span of four years, 17 million New Zealand dollars would be spent in the improvement of resourcing for the country's chief censor and censorship compliance unit. This resourcing is also the latest response from the government to the Christchurch mosque attacks in March, when a gunman killed 51 Muslims during their time of Prayer on March 15 and also live-streamed the shooting on Facebook. The video was later shared on social media as well.
(With AP inputs)