Christchurch shooting: multiple fatalities after mass shooting at two mosques – live updates
(about 2 hours later)
A reporter travelling with the Bangladesh cricket team has told ABC News the players were on their way to the mosque when they heard news of the attack.
Christchurch resident Mike has just emerged from lockdown in central Christchurch.
“I am terrifed,” he said. “This is not what New Zealand is about. It’s just crap. I am horrified. This will change how kiwis feel about their home forever.”
Authorities have confirmed that the school lockdown has ended.
Police can now confirm the lock down of schools throughout Christchurch has been lifted. We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large Police presence in the city and the safety of the community is our priority.
Arrangements through the Australian and New Zealand counter-terrorism committee have been activated, according to Queensland police.
They say there is “no credible intelligence of any attack imminent or otherwise in Queensland” but added they have activated all their current counter-terrorism capabilities.
National arrangements through the Australian and New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee have been activated. Queensland Police are being kept briefed on the situation in New Zealand as it unfolds. #Christchurch
There is no credible intelligence of any attack imminent or otherwise in Queensland. #Christchurch
We are maintaining a high level of vigilance and have activated all of our current counter-terrorism capabilities - including engaging with all of our communities & minority groups across Qld to ensure they are safe & are kept safe. #Christchurch
We are in a probable threat environment. The community should remain vigilant. If it doesn't add up, speak up. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400. #Christchurch
We also know that at times like this there is heightened concern in certain communities for backlash, negative comment and for perhaps even assaults. We ask all of Queensland to be alert to this & report any of these incidents. #Christchurch
At times like these, even a throw away remark or a stupid remark can escalate out of control. We need to make sure that doesn't happen and I'd ask everyone to treat each other with respect and dignity during this time: @CoPStewart #Christchurch
The Los Angeles police department is providing extra patrols around mosques “out of an abundance of caution”.
The LAPD is monitoring the horrific events unfolding in Christchurch, New Zealand. While this attack appears to be an isolated incident with no nexus to LA, out of an abundance of caution we’re providing extra patrols around mosques. Our thoughts & prayers are with all affected.
A few more lines from the press conference from police commissioner Mike Bush.
Bush was asked about the video that is circulating online, which purports to show the attack from the perspective of the shooter. This video is very graphic and unverified and Bush said police were doing everything in their power to get the video taken down from the website: “It’s very disturbing, it shouldn’t be in the public domain,” he said.
He also said: “Let’s not assume the danger is gone” and said he couldn’t discuss whether the four people who were arrested were known to police. “That detail will unfold in the next few days.”
More reaction from Australian politicians:
Labor utterly condemns the horrific attack in #Christchurch. As we always have, Australia stands with our New Zealand friends at this terribletime. You are all in our hearts today.
To our friends in New Zealand, and all those in Australia with friends and family in NZ, we send our love and solidarity today. A terrible tragedy.
A Malaysian was among those wounded during a shooting at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Malaysia’s high commission in New Zealand said on Friday.
“So far, one Malaysian is confirmed injured and currently receiving treatment at the hospital,” the commission said on its Twitter account.
Multiple fatalities were inflicted when at least one gunman opened fire on worshippers at the mosques.
Australians are appalled by the horrific shooting in Christchurch. Targeting people in a place of worship is abhorrent and an affront to all. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
The police did not confirm how many people were killed in the attacks. We are still waiting for official confirmation of the death toll, though Jacinda Ardern said today would go down as one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”.
Bush says police are not assuming the violence is confined to Christchurch, but they have no reason to believe there may be attacks in other countries. He warns that they can’t be too careful.
Bush says he can confirm there were several IEDs attached to cars that have been made safe now.
“This speaks to the seriousness of what occurred,” he says.
The attackers were apprehended by local police, and Bush says he is “absolutely proud” of the officers who were involved.
Mike Bush has confirmed that four people are in custody, and things are moving very quickly.
He will not confirm if it is a terrorist attack, but says “it does not get more serious than this”.
Bush says this is “absolutely tragic and there will be so many people affected”. He says they will set up a facility so that families of the victims can get the information they need, but they don’t have the identities of the victims yet, because of the lockdown.
New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush is speaking now.
The mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel, is speaking to ABC news at the moment.
This has been a shock, a shock to a city that has been through so much already. I’m shocked beyond words. I cannot think of the right words to say.
The police are doing absolutely everything they can ... and they are seeking to get the matter under control and as soon as they are in a position to get the situation under control, we will end the lockdown of our facilities.
This has come as a bolt from the blue ... It just feels like it’s not what would happen in a place like New Zealand.
Deputy prime minister of New Zealand Winston Peters has tweeted it is “an awfully, awfully sad day”.
This is an awfully, awfully, sad day for New Zealand. There are lessons here from which we must all learn.
The co-leader of the New Zealand Greens, James Shaw, who was in the news yesterday after he was the victim of a physical attack at the Botanic Gardens in Wellington, has tweeted about the shootings, which he calls “horrendous”.
This is horrendous. My thoughts are with the Muslim community and the people of Christchurch. https://t.co/3wnZMwMeqp
A reminder of what’s going on at the moment.
Jacinda Ardern has flown to Wellington for a crisis meeting of national security agencies. She has said she will do another press conference after that meeting.
We are also waiting for an official briefing from the police at 5:30pm local time (about 10 minutes) in which we should get more information.
Central Christchurch is still under lockdown, including schools, and people have been warned not to leave their homes, and for parents not to try to retrieve their children from school, they will be looked after by teachers and staff.
Police have also warned people across the entire country not to go to any mosques until police tell them it is safe, saying: “Close your doors”.