New Zealand to Begin Releasing Remains of Mosque Shooting Victims


New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Sunday that the body of “at least one victim” of Friday’s mass shooting at two mosques will be given to family members Sunday night.

Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall said her office is “working as quickly as possible” to make sure the office returns the right body to the right family. “There could be nothing worse,” she said than delivering the wrong body to a family.

Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha said Sunday that his office has met with leaders of the Muslim community to help them understand the lengthy autopsy process necessary for a criminal investigation, because it is traditional in Islam to bury a body within 24 hours after death.

The government hopes to return all victims’ bodies to their families by Wednesday. A preliminary list of victims has been released to families, police said.