Prince William, Kate Middleton release statement condemning Christchurch shooting

Prince William and Kate Middleton have released a statement following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 49 people dead and others seriously hurt on Friday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released their statement via Kensington Palace to send their condolences to the friends and families of the people who lost their lives in the Christchurch shooting.

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“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch,” their statement began.

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It continued: “We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship.”

“This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship,” Prince William and Kate Middleton said.

“We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today. Kia Kaha,” their statement concluded.

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The Queen and Prince Philip also shared a message through Twitter.

“The Queen has sent the following message to the people of New Zealand. I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives,” the tweet read.

It continued: “I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured. At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders. Elizabeth R.”

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One man in his late 20s was charged with murder in connection with the incidents, the commissioner of the New Zealand Police said.

Three people were arrested — one of them born in Australia — after an active shooter situation led to “significant” fatalities at the mosques during Friday prayers. Police said a fourth person was arrested Friday but that was “not related to these events.”

Of the 49 killed, 41 victims were at Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, seven were at a mosque on Linwood Avenue and another died at Christchurch Hospital, Commissioner Mike Bush said at a news conference. Police said 48 people were being treated in hospital.

— With files from the Associated Press, Jesse Ferreras and Jessica Vomiero

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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