A man who once visited the rifle club which also counted as a member the New Zealand mass shooting suspect says he warned police about the shocking and extremist views of members there years ago, but nothing was done.
Pete Breidahl, a New Zealand Army veteran, says he went to the Bruce Rifle Club outside the town of Dunedin once for a serviceman's rifle match hosted by the club, and was horrified by what he saw. Discussions among members there about zombie apocalypses as well as rifles used for combat and "homicidal fantasies" were enough to make Briedahl concerned about the mental stability of those members -- and report what he heard to an arms officer with local police.
"You gotta do something about the Bruce Rifle Club, those people are not f---ing right," Breidahl said he told the officer in a video live-streamed to Facebook. He added that he also met the accused shooter, who Fox News is choosing not to name, that murdered 50 Muslims at two mosques on Friday. But police officers reportedly did not take Briedahl seriously.
“She dismissed me straight away,” he recently told TIME about the officer's response to his warning. “She told me they were ‘a bunch of funny folk’ down at the club and ‘it’s just who they were.'"
He also said another member expressed his desire to carry his weapon around at the school he attended and argued it was no different than other students who carried around skateboards. Breidahl said that same student told him that he needed to prepare himself against the growing Muslim population in New Zealand.
“[He] told me that the army will be deployed on the streets of Dunedin to protect us from the growing terrorist attacks of Muslims,” Breidahl said.
Breidahl, a father-of-three who admits to suffering from PTSD, said he was just trying to do the right thing, though he allows he has a tense relationship with police due to an unspecified conflict with his ex-wife. His heartbreak over the recent shootings reportedly nearly caused him to move.
"I tried," he said. "And I failed. People died and I feel like I should have done more."
New Zealand police didn't immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Investigators revealed Wednesday that police stopped the shooter while he was on his way to a third mosque. Police commissioner Mike Bush said officials "strongly believe we stopped him on the way to further attack," BuzzFeed reports.
The first victims of the devastating mass shooting were buried on Wednesday as the country's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced the government would introduce a reform to its gun laws in response to the incident.