YouTuber PewDiePie has released a statement, after a gunman encouraged people to subscribe to his channel during a horrific live-stream – which showed him opening fire at a mosque in New Zealand.
According to reports, 49 people were killed after at least one gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch at 1.40pm local time on Friday.
The terrorist, who live-streamed the massacre online, is believed to be 28-year-old Australian native Brenton Tarrant.
In the horrifying footage, the gunman drove up to a mosque while playing loud music, and said “let’s get this party started” before telling viewers, “Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.”
Update on the Christchurch shootings:
– 49 people killed
– A man in his late twenties has been charged with murder
– “This can only be described as a terror attack,” said NZ PM Jacinda Ardern
– Trump sent his “warmest sympathy” following the attackhttps://t.co/m3sQVJIHrj
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) March 15, 2019
The term “subscribe to PewDiePie” has become a running joke online in recent months, as the Swedish star has been fighting to maintain his title as the most subscribed to YouTuber – ever since Indian music channel T-Series came close to surpassing him.
After the news broke, the YouTube star, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, took to Twitter to express his condolences.
He wrote: “Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.”
“My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy,” he added.
Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch.
I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.
My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.
— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) March 15, 2019
Before the attack, it’s believed the shooter published a 74 page manifesto online, in which he said he was inspired by Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik.
He also revealed his plans to seek revenge for the “thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks”.