THE grandmother of New Zealand shooter Brenton Tarrant has revealed how he changed from a computer nerd scared of girls to a terrorist.
White supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 28, was tackled by police after opening fire on two Christchurch mosques on Friday – with the death toll currently standing at 50 with dozens more injured.
Today, more details of the Australian’s past have come to light – with his family apologising for the horrific terror attack that saw children gunned down during Friday prayers.
Grandmother Marie Fitzgerald, 81, told Nine News she had been left “gobsmacked” anyone in her family could have been responsible for the worst massacre in New Zealand’s modern history.
Describing Tarrant as a youngster, she said: “He spent most of his time on computers and learning the ins and outs of computers and playing games on computers.”
She added: “I don’t think girlfriends were on the agenda” – explaining that talking to girls was “too hard”.
Speaking from her New South Wales home, the elderly woman said: “It’s only since he travelled overseas I think that that boy has changed completely to the boy we knew.”
He spent most of his time on computers and learning the ins and outs of computers
People also reported that Tarrant had become addicted to violent video games – even choosing to wet himself instead of taking a break.
A family member said: “He had no outside interests other than that. He used to play computer games all day and night, and they were especially violent ones.”
And the shell-shocked family said they wanted the families affected in the tragedy to know they were sorry.
Uncle Terry Fitzgerald said: “We are so sorry, for all the families over there, for the dead and the injured.”
Family also claimed the young man had changed after finding his father Rodney’s body after he took his own life.
OVERSEAS TRAVEL PROBED
The 49-year-old died after a long battle with cancer in 2010, with his obituary reading he was “a dedicated family man, father of Lauren and Brenton, and a competitive athlete”.
Speaking from her Grafton home in New South Wales, his 94-year-old grandmother Joyce said: “Brenton was never the same again.
“I begged them to take him to get counselling but he never went.”
Family friends revealed Tarrant went travelling soon after losing his father – with authorities now probing what links the 28-year-old may have made with the far-right during his overseas trip.
Australian Tarrant toured the Continent and Asia during seven years of travelling and became obsessed with fascist ideology.
The young man’s multiple visits to Turkey are also being probed, Ankara confirmed, while Bulgarian authorities revealed the alleged shooter had visited the country as recently as last year.
The gun man had scrawled names of battles and figures from the time of the country’s struggle against Ottoman rule on the automatic rifle magazines used in the massacre.
Neo-nazi symbols and other names of 16th century admirals were also written in white on the bags and ammunition.
The Australian had penned a 74-page manifesto before unleashing the horrific attack – even trying to send a copy to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
He listed Norwegian far-fight mass murderer Anders Breivik and Finsbury Park mosque attacker Darren Osborne as influences.
In the document entitled The Great Replacement he also claimed that white Europeans were “failing to reproduce”.
Brit spies are also reviewing the Australian’s 74-page manifesto, a Whitehall source told The Times.
Tarrant said he was inspired by Darren Osborne, who drove into worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in North London in 2017.
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Stories of bravery have since emerged in the wake of the attack – with one dad shielding his two-year-old as the sick gun man opened fire on the mosques on Friday.
A boy of three who died in his father’s arms have been named as victims of the massacre.
Other innocent victims were just four, 12 14 and 16. Their heartbreaking stories emerged yesterday as world leaders told of their shock and revulsion at the slaughter.