FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - Leaders and everyday people around the globe on Friday expressed horror, shock and sadness in the wake of the deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand, while Muslim leaders said the mass shooting was evidence of a rising tide of violent Islamophobia.
In Fremont, people leaving early-morning prayers at the Islamic Center, were no different.
"It's our worst nightmare just to hear," Asim Zafir told KTVU. " It kind of puts everybody on some kind of feeling of being unsafe."
Maseer Firman added: "It's going to be a hard day to get through. Friday is the most important day for the Muslims. We congregate and come together. This very much hurts us."
Many worshippers hugged each other as they walked into the mosque on Irvington Avenue. One worshipper said he wishes the tech companies so close by in Silicon Valley would crack down on online hate.
New Zealand police said at least 49 people were killed Friday at two mosques in the picturesque South Island city of Christchurch. More than 20 were seriously wounded in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a "terrorist attack."
One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack. Police also defused explosive devices in a car. Two other people were being held in custody and police were trying to determine how they might be involved.
The gunman, who has not been formally identified, tried to make a few things clear in the manifesto he left behind: He is a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants. He was set off by attacks in Europe that were perpetrated by Muslims. He wanted revenge, and he wanted to create fear.
He also, quite clearly, wanted attention.
Though he claimed not to covet fame, he left behind a 74-page document posted on social media in which he said he hoped to survive the attack to better spread his ideas in the media.He also livestreamed to the world in graphic detail his assault on the worshippers at Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque.
World leaders weighed in on the tragedy.
In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump sent "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand. He wrote that "49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks the "latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia."
And Queen Elizabeth II, who is New Zealand's head of state, said in a message to the country she was "deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch" and sent condolences to families and friends of victims. The queen also paid tribute to emergency services and volunteers supporting the injured.
"At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders," she said in her message.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.