Captured on video, Senator Fraser Anning was speaking with reporters when a teen who was recording him slapped an egg on the back of the senator’s head. The senator immediately turned around and hit the boy. A few men then held the boy on the ground for what seemed like an unnecessarily long amount of time as film crews surrounded him.
According to Australian reporter Kristy Mayr, the teenager was released from custody.
On Friday, the senator shared a statement where he blamed the shooting on Muslim immigration. “As always, leftwing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all cliched nonsense,” he said. “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
The senator’s remarks were widely denounced. U.K. home secretary Sajid David accused the senator of further fueling extremism. “Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man," he tweeted. "In no way does he represent our Australian friends.”
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison also condemned the senator’s comments: “The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, rightwing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian parliament.”
After the shooting, New Zealand Attorney-General David Parker appeared to reveal that the government would ban semi-automatic weapons. However, on Saturday, he made it clear that the government hadn’t yet committed to that promise. New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to change gun laws and shared that the government would consider regulations on semi-automatics as “one of the issues,” RNZ reports.
On Thursday, at least 49 people were reported dead following mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. One man was arrested and charged with murder for the attacks.
Watch the video of the teenage boy egging the senator above.