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Christchurch shooting: reports of multiple casualties after shooting at mosque – live updates Christchurch shooting: police search for gunman after mass shooting at mosque – live updates
(30 minutes later)
There are reports that someone who could be the shooter has released a manifesto online, and a very disturbing video showing the attack.
These are unconfirmed at this stage and we are choosing not to publish more about them until we have been able to verify them. We will bring you more information about this when we have it.
‘I saw people drop dead’ - witness’s horrific account of shooting
A man who was at the mosque during the incident is telling TVNZ he hasn’t seen his wife, who was also in the mosque this morning, since the shooting.
The man, who is a wheelchair and pushed himself out to the carpark, has a chilling account of the event.
He said he was in the side room and the imam had just started his sermon when the shooting started.
It was very peaceful, calm and quiet, as it is when the sermon starts, you could hear a pin drop.
Then suddenly the shooting started. It started in the main room... I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious.
So I tried too get out and I pushed myself at the back where my car was, and from there I heard the shooting, it went on six minutes or more, I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away, I was in a wheelchair, so I couldn’t get anywhere.
He did his massacre inside the mosque.
The man then pushed himself back into the mosque after the shooting ended, trying to find his wife, and help others.
I pushed myself back into the mosque. To the right, I saw about 20 plus people, some were dead, some were screaming. On the left there were 10 plus people, some were dead,
I saw the bullet shells on the floor, so many hundreds.
Christchurch Hospital is in lockdown.
The hospital is about two kilometres from the mosques.
A hospital spokesman said some shooting victims were being treated at the emergency department but he could not provide numbers.
“We don’t know the detail at this time,” he told the Guardian.
“The whole campus, including the building I’m in, is in lockdown, we are not venturing outside – that’s staff, patients and visitors.”
Sources have told our reporter on the ground, Eleanor Ainge Roy, that police are searching for three people inside the area that has been cordoned off, as well as a white van.
Adding to the shock is how rare events like this are in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s last mass shooting was the 1990 Aramoana massacre, in which 13 people were murdered as well as the killer David Gray.
The tragedy unfolded in the small seaside township of Aramoana, near Dunedin. Gray was armed with a scoped semi-automatic rifle and his victims included the first policeman to respond to the emergency - Sergeant Stewart Guthrie.
The incident sparked a lengthy public debate on gun control in NZ at the time.In 2016, a firearms expert warned NZ could be at risk of another Aramoana massacre.
Waikato University professor Alexander Gillespie told a parliamentary inquiry that 95 per cent of guns in NZ are untraceable because a lack of a central register.
“At the moment I have to register my car. I have to register my dog. But my neighbour doesn’t have to register his firearm,” Dr Gillespie said.
Christchurch hospital has activated its emergency protocol.
A witness who was at the mosque during the shooting has spoken to TVNZ and says that the shooting lasted for about 20 minutes and systematically went through the mosque, going from room to room targeting people.
His brother was at the mosque with him and he doesn’t know if he is OK.
At 1:40pm a gunman entered the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and opened fire
There are reports of casualties with local media are reporting some people have died, with witnesses saying they saw “lots of bodies” on the ground, though police have not confirmed the number of those injured or dead.
This is an active shooter situation, with police responding to more gunshots fired at other locations across the city.
The city remains under lockdown, with central Christchurch evacuated, children who were participating in the climate strikes were evacuated, schools are under lockdown.
Police have confirmed to the Guardian that there is a bomb in a car that has crashed on Strickland Street in the city. People are being evacuated from the area.
Police are entering properties in Deyell Crescent, they are telling evacuees “you don’t want to know what is happening”.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern cancelled all her afternoon activities and is set to address media at 4pm local time (in about half an hour).
Any Australian citizens who require consular assistance, or families concerned about the welfare of citizens should contact +6444736411 or +61262613305Any Australian citizens who require consular assistance, or families concerned about the welfare of citizens should contact +6444736411 or +61262613305
Eleanor Ainge Roy, our reporter on the ground in Christchurch, says that armed officers are entering Deyell Crescent, south of the Botanic Gardens and Al Noor Mosque, where the shootings took place.Eleanor Ainge Roy, our reporter on the ground in Christchurch, says that armed officers are entering Deyell Crescent, south of the Botanic Gardens and Al Noor Mosque, where the shootings took place.
She reports the whole street has been evacuated and the street is being guarded by armed offices.She reports the whole street has been evacuated and the street is being guarded by armed offices.
An update from New Zealand police:An update from New Zealand police:
1/2 A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter.Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off...1/2 A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter.Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off...
2/2 ... off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.2/2 ... off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.
More shots have been fired in the last five minutes, according to police sources.More shots have been fired in the last five minutes, according to police sources.
Our reporter, who is with the police in Christchurch, heard as police were ordered over radio to attend another location in Christchurch to attend an active shooter situation.Our reporter, who is with the police in Christchurch, heard as police were ordered over radio to attend another location in Christchurch to attend an active shooter situation.
There is no confirmation of where the second location is or whether there were any injuries.There is no confirmation of where the second location is or whether there were any injuries.
This is from the Associated Press:This is from the Associated Press:
A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
Police have not described the scale of the Friday shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.Police have not described the scale of the Friday shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.
Witness Len Peneha says he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.Witness Len Peneha says he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrivedPeneha says he went into the mosque to try and help: “I saw dead people everywhere.”He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrivedPeneha says he went into the mosque to try and help: “I saw dead people everywhere.”
Again, police have not confirmed casualty numbers, though we have seen footage of several people being wheeled into Christchurch hospital for treatment following the shooting. We will let you know as soon as police or other authorities confirm casualties.Again, police have not confirmed casualty numbers, though we have seen footage of several people being wheeled into Christchurch hospital for treatment following the shooting. We will let you know as soon as police or other authorities confirm casualties.
Several reports have come in saying there were hundreds of people in the mosque when the shooting occurred.Several reports have come in saying there were hundreds of people in the mosque when the shooting occurred.
One witness told the ABC news that he fled after the shooting began and was now running through the streets without his shoes, it is typical to remove one’s shoes when entering a mosque for prayers.One witness told the ABC news that he fled after the shooting began and was now running through the streets without his shoes, it is typical to remove one’s shoes when entering a mosque for prayers.
Bangladeshi cricketer, Tamim Iqbal Khan, has tweeted that the “entire team got saved from active shooters”. The team were at Al Noor mosque this morning when the incident took place, he described it as a a “frightening experience”.
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack
There is a bomb on Strickland Street in Christchurch, two police officers have confirmed to our reporter on the ground.
The bomb is located inside a beige Subaru that has crashed on Strickland Street, about three kilometres from the Al Noor Mosque where the shooting took place.
“You’re not safe here, there’s a bomb in that car,” a senior police officer told our reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy. She and the police have moved back several hundred metres, to stay at a safe difference.
It seems the Bangladesh cricket team were at the Hagley Park mosque when the incident occurred and escaped from the mosque.
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV
We’re seeing images of victims of the shooting arriving at Christchurch hospital on TV news. Again, to reiterate, we have not had any confirmation of the number or nature of the casualties.
Our reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy says there is a crashed Subaru on Strickland Street in central Auckland police believe there may be explosives inside.
They are trying to secure the car and have cleared a safety cordon of about 100 metres around the car because of fears of a bomb blast.
Police have confirmed this is an active and critical situation.
The shots were first reported in a mosque and at nearby Hagley Park in the centre of Christchurch.
Our reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy is down at the police cordon, at Strickland St. She reports that the police are all carrying rifles.
Police are currently responding to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at around 1:40pm.Armed police have been deployed.Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
Schools in central Christchurch are also in lockdown.
The climate change rallies across Christchurch have been evacuated and the prime minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled all events for the afternoon as the police recommend that everyone in central Christchurch stays indoors.
Breaking news out of New Zealand, where it is believed several people have been injured after shootings near a mosque in Christchurch.
Our reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy is in Christchurch where there are reports that 20 shots were fired near a mosque, injuring several people. We don’t have confirmation of the number of injured from the police yet.
Armed police are on the scene and a second mosque has reportedly been evacuated as well.
We have a critical incident in Deans Ave Christchurch. Please avoid the area. We will give more in the near future.
This is a breaking story, we’ll bring you more information as it comes in.