WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) - Troopers are keeping an eye on Connecticut mosques following a mass shooting in New Zealand.

The Connecticut State Police said it is continuing to be proactive in its approach to combating crime and will at times make itself available to law enforcement partners on both the local and federal level.

Channel 3 spoke with Mobashar Akram, a board member with the Islamic Center of Connecticut in Windsor.

Akram spoke about the shooting and said it's important for the Connecticut community to come together.

"We are one body, one community and this is not just a tragedy for the Muslims, but humanity at large," said Akram. 

A service was held on Friday at the Islamic Center of Connecticut as members mourned the loss. 

"The community is in shock, they're in grief, solidarity with the people," said Akram. 

Vigilance is also up at the mosque. 

There are surveillance cameras at the one in Windosr and Akram said his members have to go through active shooter trainings, talks with local police and the FBI, all in preparation for a random act of violence. 

Ben Richards is a Baptist and this shooting conjures up memories of the church shooting in South Carolina. 

Yet, even after this tragedy, he can't remember his church needing active shooting trainings or police patrols, but understands why his neighbors need it now. 

"It really bothered me, and I just hope that in the future we could change our ways," Richards said. 

At least 49 people were killed in shootings at two mosques full of worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand. Another 48 people were wounded.

The victims were attending Friday services at the time.

An unidentified man was charged with murder in what officials described as a carefully planned racist attack.

Two other armed suspects are also in custody, police said. However, their exact involvement remains unclear.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labeled the incidents as a terrorist attack.

The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut issued a statement that included a means to help support the families of the victims.

We awoke today to the devastating news that 49 innocent Muslim worshippers at two different mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were gunned down today by an avowed white nationalist. We are grief-stricken in the face of this senseless act of violence, motivated by anti-Muslim hatred, that has destroyed so many lives and left so many bereft of their loved ones. As Muslims across the country attend today's Friday prayers, we cannot help but feel heartbreak and disgust that, once gain, a house of worship - a place dedicated to the worship of God, a place of communal gathering, and perhaps above all, a place of peace and solace - instead became the scene of hate-fueled, wonton violence.

As we mourn the victims of this tragedy, we also cannot help but remember the recent terror attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh as well as the Charleston church shooting, both motivated by the same hateful ideology - white nationalism. Let us be clear: the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut condemns all acts of violence against innocent civilians in the name of any ideology or religion. All such acts constitute terrorism, and all must be unequivocally condemned.

In the wake of this tragedy, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut calls on all Americans to come together to work toward mutual understanding and respect. Further, we believe it is incumbent upon us, in these distressing times, to reflect on how political rhetoric demonizing Muslims and other minorities contributes to and enables tragedies like this one

If you would like to support the families of the victims, please consider donating here. You can also learn more about our work promoting interfaith understanding here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.