New England

‘Horrified and Heartbroken': Local Leaders React to Deadly New Zealand Shootings

Forty-nine people were killed in mass shootings in two New Zealand mosques on Friday

New England leaders are reacting and offering their condolences following the deadly mass shootings that killed 49 people in two New Zealand mosques on Friday.

The victims were worshippers in Christchurch who were killed in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as a terrorist attack. Other than the deceased, the massacre injured 20 others.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is currently the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, offered solidarity to the grief-stricken city.

"Clearly, it was a cowardly act of terrorism and the Prime Minister, I commend her for coming out strong and saying, 'listen, there's no place for that here,' and I agree with her," Brown said in a phone interview with NBC10 Boston.

Other leaders from the northeast to offer their condolences include presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

Warren mentioned Charleston and Pittsburgh during her condolences. The Massachusetts senator said "everyone should have the right to worship without fear.

Kennedy said he was "horrified and heartbroken by the terrorist attack."

Walsh reminded the Muslim community that Boston stands with them and is thinking of them in wake of the massacre.

Pressley called for regulation of the gun industry.

"I promise to continue working tirelessly to put an end to this public health crisis," she said.

The Islamic Society of Boston and Cambridge Police Department, which serves the city with the largest mosque in the greater Boston area, also responded to the tragedy.

ISB said their prayers are with the Muslim community in New Zealand. In wake of the tragedy, increased security will be offered for Friday's prayer. The society said it is working with Cambridge police to ensure the safety of worshippers.

"Kindly remember the victims, the injured and their families in your prayer and Duaa today," the society said.

The Cambridge Police Department said it is "deeply saddened and troubled" by the violence. Officials said they are speaking with leaders in the city's faith community and police chaplains.

Police said security and police patrols in Cambridge and Boston have been stepped up at mosques in the wake of the New Zealand shootings.

Massachusetts State Police said they are also continuing to monitor developments in the New Zealand mosque attacks. They said at this time there are no credible threats to any mosques or other houses of worship in Massachusetts.

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