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Christchurch shooting: police search for gunman after mass shooting at mosque – live updates Christchurch shooting: multiple fatalities after mass shooting at two mosques – live updates
(32 minutes later)
Whilst I cannot give any confirmation at this stage around fatalities and casualties, what I can say is that it is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.
Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.
Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.
They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was.
For now, my thoughts, and I’m sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders, are with those who have been affected, and also with their families.
My thoughts also to those in Christchurch, who are still dealing with an unfolding situation. The advice from police continues to be that people remain indoors. I acknowledge that that may mean that some families are separated, but please continue to listen out for information as it comes to light that’s been directly provided by the New Zealand Police with further information.
But as I say, please remain in lockdown. We are potentially still dealing with an evolving situation. And again, as I say, across multiple sites. Please be assured, though, the police are actively managing the situation. Christchurch Hospital is dedicated to treating those who are arriving at the hospital as we speak as well.
As soon as I leave here, I will be returning directly on a flight to Wellington. Agencies are already convening in Wellington. I will be looking to meet with them as soon as I land. It’s my expectation that once I arrive and have been briefed, I intend to speak again publicly after that point. I’m happy to take questions.”
'One of New Zealand's darkest days': Jacinda Ardern responds to Christchurch shooting
Police commissioner Mike Bush has warned: “No one in the country must go to a mosque under any circumstances.”
Series of updates from the New Zealand police, which includes confirmation of multiple fatalities and the fact this is an ongoing situation.
Police will address media at 5pm local time (in about 40 minutes).
1/5 Police is responding to a very serious and tragic incident involving an active shooter in central Christchurch. One person is in custody, however Police believe there may be other offenders.... This is an evolving incident and we are working to confirm the facts...
2/5 however we can confirm there have been a number of fatalities. Police is currently at a number of scenes. We understand that there will be many anxious people but I can assure New Zealanders that Police is doing all it can to resolve this incident.
3/5 We urge New Zealanders to stay vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111. We are mobilising resources nationally and support is being brought into the District. We are still working to resolve this incident and we continue to urge Christchurch...
4/5 ...residents to stay inside. We ask all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.
5/5 There will be a media stand-up at 5pm today at the Royal Society Te Aparangi on Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.
I'm horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.
Ardern is asked if she would describe this attack as a hate crime, she says: “I would describe it as an unprecedented act of violence.”
She says of the people who were attacked, “New Zealand is their home, they should have felt safe here.”
She said that those who were in attendance at a mosque should have the right to be exercising their religious freedom, but they were not safe. Ardern says actions like this have “no place in New Zealand”.
After the press conference Ardern is flying to Wellington, where officials are convening.
She says one person is in custody, but that police are still advising people to remain indoors and there may be other people involved.
Ardern says she cannot confirm precise details, including the number of casualties.
“I’m not currently in a position to confirm casualties or injuries.” But she says it is clear so far “this is a significant event”.
“It will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
Ardern says her thoughts are with the people of Christchurch, including those families that may be separated due to the lockdown.
She seems like she is holding back tears as she speaks about these events.
Ardern says that the perpetrator “has no place in New Zealand”. She calls the victims, some of whom may have been migrants or even refugees to New Zealand were part of their community - “they are us,” she says.
She says the perpetrator “is not”, and there is no place in New Zealand society for violent attacks like this.
She confirms one suspect is in custody, but police are still searching to see if more people were involved.
She calls it “an unprecedented act of violence.
Commissioner Mike Bush’s full video statement can be seen here.
UPDATE: SERIOUS FIREARMS INCIDENT https://t.co/AdfMqSO095
New Zealand police confirm that there have been multiple fatalities at two locations – Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave and the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Ave.
The police say one suspect is in custody, but that the situation is still ongoing and it is an active shooter situation.
Commissioner Mike Bush said it was a “very serious and grave situation” and warned people not to leave their homes.
“Close your doors until you hear from us again,” said Bush.
There are reports that someone who could be the shooter has released a manifesto online, and a very disturbing video showing the attack.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.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‘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.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.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.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.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.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.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.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.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 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.I saw the bullet shells on the floor, so many hundreds.
Christchurch Hospital is in lockdown.Christchurch Hospital is in lockdown.
The hospital is about two kilometres from the mosques.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.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.“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.”“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.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.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.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 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.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.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.“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 +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.
She reports the whole street has been evacuated and the street is being guarded by armed offices.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.