The family of the white supremacist gunman who slaughtered 50 people in the New Zealand mosque shooting apologized for his actions Sunday and said they are “gobsmacked.”
Brenton Tarrant’s uncle Terry Fitzgerald said that the carnage his nephew unleashed on two mosques in Christchurch Friday is “just not right.”
“We are so sorry for the families… for the dead and the injured,” he told Australian broadcaster Nine News. “Yeah we just, can’t think nothing else, just want to go home and hide.”
The mass shooter’s grandmother, 81-year-old Marie Fitzgerald said from her home in New South Wales that the family is at a loss.
“We’re all gobsmacked,” she said. “It’s just so much for everything to take in that somebody in our family would do anything like this.”
She said her 28-year-old grandson spent a lot of his youth playing computer games and browsing the Internet and that she didn’t think “girlfriends were on the agenda.” His father died from cancer in 2010 she said.
“It’s only since he traveled overseas [to Europe] that the boy has changed completely,” she said.
The last time she saw him was two weeks ago in the Australian city of Grafton for his sister’s birthday.
“He was just his normal self, we all chatted and had a meal together to celebrate that occasion,” Fitzgerald said, noting that authorities believe her grandson had been planning Friday’s attacks for two years.
“Now everybody is just devastated,” she said. “Shattered is the word.”