Christchurch mosque shooting: what we know so far

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Several people have been killed in a mass shooting at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Police say they have four people — three men and one woman — in custody but can’t guarantee there aren’t other offenders. “Let’s not assume the danger is gone,” New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said, adding that it’s possible the danger is not contained in the city alone. He also said there were a “significant number” of fatalities, but wouldn’t offer a concrete number at this point.

There have been two shooting incidents so far: one at the Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and another at the Linwood Mosque in the suburb of Linwood, Radio New Zealand reports. Police said they found improvised explosive devices attached to vehicles.

An eyewitness inside the Al Noor Mosque told RNZ that he saw at least four people lying on the ground and that “there was blood everywhere.”

Friday is the Muslim holy day, when many practicing Muslims attend worship services at mosques.

On Friday afternoon local time, New Zealand police reported they were responding to “reports of shots fired” in the central part of the city and advised citizens to stay indoors.

In a brief press conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said “there is no place in New Zealand” for this kind of violence, noting that the country is home to the people who were targeted at the mosques. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” she said.

“Many of those affected may be migrants, maybe refugees … They are us. … The perpetrator is not. … There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence,” Ardern continued.

US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown tweeted his condolences.

What we know

  • There have been two shooting incidents: one at the Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and another at the Linwood Mosque in the suburb of Linwood, Radio New Zealand reports.
  • An eyewitness inside the Al Noor Mosque told RNZ that he saw at least four people lying on the ground and that “there was blood everywhere.”
  • Police have confirmed there was a “significant number” of fatalities.
  • Police have four people in custody: four men and one woman.
  • All schools and city council buildings are currently on lockdown and police have advised anyone planning to visit a mosque in New Zealand to refrain from doing so until told otherwise.
  • One shooter live-streamed his attack on social media, gruesomely displaying how he entered the mosque and shot innocents.

What we don’t know

  • How many shooters are involved, their identities, or their motives
  • How many casualties there are
  • The identities of the victims

This is a breaking news story. We will continue to update it as more information becomes available.

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