Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant praised Donald Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity” in his manifesto before he murdered 49 people in a New Zealand mosque shooting in Christchurch during evening prayers.

Tarrant described Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” He wrote “Dear God no” in reference to his support of Trump as a policy maker and leader.

He also praised black commentator Candace Owens in the manifesto as being the person who radicalized him the most. “The person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens,” Tarrant wrote.

“Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness,” he continued. “Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes,” he added.

new zealand mosque shooting brenton tarrant donald trump symbol of renewed white identity
New Zealand Mosque Shootings: White Supremacist Brenton Tarrant Praised Donald Trump as “Symbol of Renewed White Identity”

The gunman was wearing a bullet proof vest, moved from room to room, killing people as they prayed. At one point, he went back to his car and reloaded. Four other people were arrested following the mosque shooting. The gunman also live-streamed his shooting rampage on Facebook.

The mosque mass shooting comes on the same day Donald Trump sparked a fierce backlash by encouraging supporters in the military, police and Bikers for Trump to respond “badly” to his critics on the left. There is a growing unease that Trump will not leave the White House quietly if he loses the 2020 presidential election.