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PROFILE: Tarrant, the gym instructor ‘who killed 49’ in New Zealand

PROFILE: Tarrant, the gym instructor ‘who killed 49’ in New Zealand

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, is suspected to be the gunman behind the horrific attack that left 49 persons dead in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday. The suspect invaded two mosques during a coordinated and unprecedented attack.

Tarrant reportedly worked as a personal trainer at Big River Gym in the northern New South Wales city of Grafton.

Tracey Gray, gym manager, told ABC News the man who filmed the attack and streamed it online was Tarrant, who worked at the gym after he graduated from school in 2009 until 2011, when he left to go travelling overseas in Asia and in Europe.

“He was a very dedicated personal trainer,” Gray said.

“He worked in our program that offered free training to kids in the community, and he was very passionate about that.”

The gym manager said she never saw Tarrant as someone who had an interest in firearms.

“I think something must have changed in him during the years he spent travelling overseas,” she said.

The suspect during a trip to Pakistan last year

Tarrant was said to have lost his father Rodney to some kind of asbestos-related illness when he was rounding off high school.

He left his job after making some money from Bitconnect, a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and then used the money to fund his travels. He is known to have travelled to Europe, South-East Asia and East Asia.

What he said about himself in the manifesto

In a 74-page manifesto, believed to have been written by him, Tarrant described himself as a “regular white man, from a regular family” who was born in Australia to a “working class, low-income family”.

“My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock. I had a regular childhood, without any great issues. I had little interest in education during my schooling, barely achieving a passing grade,” he said.

“I am just a regular White man, from a regular family. Who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people.”

The author of the manifesto went on to describe himself as “a private and mostly introverted person” and admits he is racist, adding that he is an “Eco-fascist by nature”.

He described himself as an ethnonationalist and a fascist, who was inspired by Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik.

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