SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian says that he is "heartbroken and depressed" over the fact that at least 49 people were killed and more than 40 people are being treated for injuries after at least one shooter opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.
New Zealand police have charged a 28-year-old man with murder and have taken two others into custody. A fourth person turned out to have been arrested on an unrelated charge.
Serj, who calls New Zealand home and lives on a rural property about an hour's drive north of the City of Sails, took to social media earlier today to condemn the terror attack and expressed his desire to protect New Zealand's image as one of the safest countries in the world.
"I feel heartbroken and depressed seeing this type of hatred and violence brought to NZ's beautiful shores," he wrote. "I consider this an affront to the tolerance and respect this country has always stood for. NZ may not be perfect but it is one of the most perfect places on this planet and we're not gonna let that change."
In a 2015 interview with the New Zealand Herald, Tankian said that his love affair with New Zealand began in 2002 after his Grammy Award-winning band performed at the Big Day Out festival.
"I had an intuitive connection, a feeling of belonging that I never felt elsewhere," he said.
He went on to say that he he ditched California because "kiwis are calm and diplomatic. No one jumps on you and tries to take your head off. It makes you feel comfortable," he said.