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Shooter opens fire in New Zealand and ‘injures four people’ as witnesses say they heard ’20 shots’



Gunman believed to be Australian shoots dead several people in Christchurch mosque and livestreams the massacre - as more bodies are found at a second mosque

  • Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots from his automatic rifle at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch
  • The gunman live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened about 1.30pm
  • Witnesses have said they saw 'blood everywhere' and multiple people were reportedly killed in the massacre
  • One of the gunman live-streamed the mass shooting inside the mosque firing at dozens as they tried to flee

By Ben Hill For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 21:22 EDT, 14 March 2019 | Updated: 23:23 EDT, 14 March 2019

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A gunman has opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand, shooting at children and reportedly killing at least nine people.

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots from his automatic rifle at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island.

The gunman live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened about 1.30pm (11.30am AEDT) as Friday prayers were underway.

A video seen by Daily Mail Australia shows the man firing multiple shots at dozens of people as they try to flee. A suspect is in custody but it is unclear whether it is the gunman. 

People were also reportedly shot at the nearby Linwood Masjid mosque.

There are also reports of another shooting outside Christchurch Hospital and that a bomb was found in a car three kilometres from the mosque.

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as 'critical'.

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island. Pictured is a still from a live-stream of the shooting
Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island. Pictured is a still from a live-stream of the shooting

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island. Pictured is a still from a live-stream of the shooting

At least one gunman has opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand , shooting at children and reportedly killing dozens of people
At least one gunman has opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand , shooting at children and reportedly killing dozens of people

At least one gunman has opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand , shooting at children and reportedly killing dozens of people

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island
Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island

One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened at 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway
One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened at 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway

One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened at 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

Multiple people have been shot at mosques across Christchurch, New Zealand.

A shooting has also happened at Christchurch Hospital.

Armed police are in attendance at all three locations.

One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened about 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway.

The Bangladesh cricket team were inside the Al Noor Mosque at the time of the shooting. 

Another shooting has reportedly taken place at nearby Linwood Mosque.

Gunmen reportedly opened fire across the city on Friday afternoon. 

At least nine have reportedly been killed. 

One of the gunmen is believed to be a 28-year-old Australian and posted a 37-page manifesto to Twitter before the killings, describing them as a 'terrorist attack'. 

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said there were multiple casualties as a result of shootings at two mosques and at Christchurch Hospital.

He urged Muslims in New Zealand not to go to mosques today. 

Mr Bush said one person was in custody.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the shootings were 'an unfolding situation'.

'My thoughts, and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders, are with those who have been affected, and also with their families,' she said.

'My thoughts are also to those in Christchurch, who are still dealing with an unfolding situation.' 

Ms Ardern said the shootings were 'an unprecedented act of violence, an act that has absolutely no place in New Zealand. This is not who we are. 

'The people who were the subject of this attack today, New Zealand is their home. They should be safe here. The person who has perpetuated this violent act against them, they have no place in New Zealand society.' 

In the shooter's manifesto  

Mohammed Jama, the former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, said a man with a gun entered the Christchurch Mosque about 1.40pm local time on Friday.

A man inside the mosque at the time of the shooting said there 'bodies all over me'.

Witnesses inside the mosque reported seeing 15 people being shot, including children.

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath.

'My wife is dead,' he said while wailing.

Three shootings have taken place in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, two at mosques and another at Christchurch Hospital
Three shootings have taken place in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, two at mosques and another at Christchurch Hospital

Three shootings have taken place in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, two at mosques and another at Christchurch Hospital

Witnesses inside the mosque reported seeing 15 people being shot, including children
Witnesses inside the mosque reported seeing 15 people being shot, including children

Witnesses inside the mosque reported seeing 15 people being shot, including children

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath
A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath

Witness Ahmad Al-Mahmoud described one of the shooters as being white, with blond hair and wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest
Witness Ahmad Al-Mahmoud described one of the shooters as being white, with blond hair and wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest

Witness Ahmad Al-Mahmoud described one of the shooters as being white, with blond hair and wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest

The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people
The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people

The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people

Witness Ahmad Al-Mahmoud described one of the shooters as being white, with blond hair and wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest.

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers.

The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people. 

The Bangladesh cricket team - who are currently on tour in New Zealand - were inside the mosque praying at the time of the shooting and were forced to flee for their lives, ESPN reported. 

A witness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and saw 'blood everywhere'. 

Mr Jama said four people were injured and that he saw two people lying on the ground. He did not know if they were alive or dead, Stuff reported.  

There may have been more than one shooter inside the mosque, the New Zealand Herald reported.

A man inside the mosque said he ran behind the building when he heard gunfire, One News reported.

He said he saw people lying on the ground in pools of blood. 

A woman told the Christchurch Star she lay down in her car as four or five men came running towards her before hearing gunfire moments later. 

A man was seen with bloodstains on his trousers near the mosque after the shooting
A man was seen with bloodstains on his trousers near the mosque after the shooting

A man was seen with bloodstains on his trousers near the mosque after the shooting

A police officer gestures to a person outside the mosque after the shooting in Christchurch
A police officer gestures to a person outside the mosque after the shooting in Christchurch

A police officer gestures to a person outside the mosque after the shooting in Christchurch

A shirtless man speaks on the phone as an armed police officer patrols the area outside a mosque in Christchurch
A shirtless man speaks on the phone as an armed police officer patrols the area outside a mosque in Christchurch

A shirtless man speaks on the phone as an armed police officer patrols the area outside a mosque in Christchurch

The gunman's rifle and magazines reportedly had the names of other shooters who had killed people at mosques written on them.

A bomb was found in a grey Subaru Legacy three kilometres from the scene of the shooting on Strickland Street, The Guardian reported.

Another witness said people had to smash windows to escape the mosque. 

A second gunman was reportedly seen near another mosque in Linwood and an armed police presence is there.

Witnesses reported they heard 20 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island
Witnesses reported they heard 20 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island

Witnesses reported they heard 20 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as 'critical'
Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as 'critical'

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as 'critical'

Several people have reportedly been killed, with a dead body seen near Al Noor Mosque (interior pictured)
Several people have reportedly been killed, with a dead body seen near Al Noor Mosque (interior pictured)

Several people have reportedly been killed, with a dead body seen near Al Noor Mosque (interior pictured)

Twenty armed police officers cleared areas in the suburb of Linwood, and led about five men with their hands on their heads out of a building in the area.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the shooting was a 'serious and evolving situation with an active shooter'.

'Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high,' he said.

'Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers
The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath
A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath 

'Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.'

The shooting happened near Cathedral Square where thousands of children were protesting for climate change action.

The protesting children have been told to go home to ensure their safety. 

Police officers were also seen at sports ground Hagley Park and at Christchurch Hospital. 

New Zealand Police said armed officers have been deployed in the area. 

A business owner near the mosque said a man who fled the area told him the shooting happened inside. 

A witness said they heard at least 50 gunshots and saw people lying on the ground.

Another witness said he saw a car chasing two people from outside the mosque along Deans Avenue.

He said the people in the car began shooting at the two people.

Police officers were seen outside Christchurch Hospital after the shooting on Friday
Police officers were seen outside Christchurch Hospital after the shooting on Friday

Police officers were seen outside Christchurch Hospital after the shooting on Friday

Christchurch Boys' and Girls' high schools have both been placed into lockdown. 

Parents of students at Christchurch Girls' High School were sent a text message telling them the lockdown was 'not an exercise'.  

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled her planned events for Friday afternoon in light of the shooting.  

The Canterbury District Health Board has activated its mass casualty plan and the city council has placed its central city buildings into lockdown.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will speak to media at 4pm local time. 

More to come 

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