A gunman involved in a terror attack in which at least 49 people were shot dead at two New Zealand mosques had ‘for Rotherham’ written on the ammunition clips he used.
Brenton Tarrant, aged 28, has been named in media reports in his home country of Australia as the gunman who live-streamed the attack in Christchurch on Facebook as he shot victims in mosques.
Rotherham hit the headlines when an independent report into child sexual exploitation in the town published in 2014 found that 1,400 children were groomed and abused by men of predominantly Pakistan heritage while those in authority failed to act.
People of all religions, and those of no faith, gathered at the Peace Gardens in Sheffield city centre on Friday night to pay their respects to those killed in Christchurch.
Other residents have expressed their sadness on The Star's Facebook page.
Tommy Chinn said: “Thoughts and prayers with New Zealand and the victims and families.”
Amanda Whiteley added: “How awful, so many people have lost there lives. RIP, thinking about your families today. “
Saf Abbas described it as a “sad day.”
Avril Eilledge posted: “All these poor people “
Posting on Twitter, Rotherham Council leader, Councillor Chris Read, said: “Awful news from Christchurch. Our thoughts are with all those affected, and of course first and foremost with the Muslim community..”
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said police would do ‘everything necessary’ to ensure the safety of the region’s Muslim community.
He said: “The attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was an act of gross cowardice and an assault on all religions.”