Heartbroken New Zealanders mourn mass shooting

  330
Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/V

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/V

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/V

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/V

A woman reacts as she sits near the wall with floral tributes at the Botanical Gardens, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand. (AP Photo

A woman reacts as she sits near the wall with floral tributes at the Botanical Gardens, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand. (AP Photo

Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand, where one

Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand, where one

In this Saturday, March 16, 2019, file photo, a woman who lost her husband during Friday's mass shootings cries outside an information center for fami

In this Saturday, March 16, 2019, file photo, a woman who lost her husband during Friday's mass shootings cries outside an information center for fami

In this photo released by New Zealand Prime Minister's Office, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center, meets representatives of the Muslim community, S

In this photo released by New Zealand Prime Minister's Office, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center, meets representatives of the Muslim community, S

Mourners hug as they pay their respects at a memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, near wher

Mourners hug as they pay their respects at a memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, near wher

A message is displayed at a makeshift memorial outside Christchurch hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, one day after the

A message is displayed at a makeshift memorial outside Christchurch hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, one day after the

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. People acro

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. People acro

A mourner pauses at a makeshift memorial outside Christchurch hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, one day after the mass

A mourner pauses at a makeshift memorial outside Christchurch hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, one day after the mass

Mourners react as they pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside Christchurch hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019

Mourners react as they pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside Christchurch hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019

Police stand by a collection of flowers near the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, where one of the two mass shoo

Police stand by a collection of flowers near the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, where one of the two mass shoo

A handwritten message is placed at a collection of flowers left near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019,

A handwritten message is placed at a collection of flowers left near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019,

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, where one o

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019, where one o

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Heartbroken New Zealanders lit candles and placed flowers at makeshift memorials set up in the city of Christchurch in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history.

Some mourners hugged their neighbors, while others stood in solemn silence at sites in the city center, not far from the two mosques where Muslims gathered for Friday prayers were mowed down by a racist gunman.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the shooter, an Australian native, had chosen to strike in New Zealand "because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion."