Multiple deaths at Christchurch, New Zealand mosques amid active shooter situation: police
|globalnews.ca 14 Mar 2019 at 21:07|
Numerous people were killed at two mosques amid an active shooter situation in Christchurch, New Zealand in an incident that unfolded starting at 1:40 p.m. on Friday, police said.
Police placed all of the city’s schools on lockdown amid the incident. calling a “serious ongoing firearms incident.”
New Zealand Police Comm. Mike Bush issued a statement saying there was an active shooter situation that involved “multiple fatalities” and that they had one person in custody, but were unsure if there were any other people.
“Police believe there may be other offenders,” the New Zealand Police tweeted.
“The multiple fatalities are, as far as we know, at two locations, a mosque at Deaks Avenue, and another mosque at Linwood Avenue, Christchurch,” Bush said.
“Again, we are unsure if there are any locations outside of that area that are under threat.”
Bush asked people to stay indoors.
He also asked that anyone who was thinking of heading to a mosque across New Zealand “not to go.”
Police also advised mosques across the country to “shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.”
“We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed,” they said.
Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a statement saying, “this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.””Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here,” she said.
“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.”
The Guardian reported that Ardern was on her way to the New Zealand capital of Wellington to meet with national security agencies, and that she would hold another briefing after that time.
Christchurch City Council tweeted that the government is locking down buildings such as the civic offices and the central library.
#UPDATE : All Council-owned facilities across the city are now in full lock-down. If youR child was attending the climate change protest in Cathedral Square and you want to check if they are in the Civic Offices, please call the Council Contact Centre on 03-941-8999.
The Guardian also reported that there’s a bomb in beige Subaru that crashed on Strickland Street.
People were being evacuated from the vicinity, it said.
BREAKING: Witness says many dead in mass shooting at mosque in New Zealand city of Christchurch. https://t.co/A5Cm5Nhfh9
Len Peneha, a witness to the incident, said he saw a man who was dressed in black walk into the Masjid Al Noor mosque.
He said he then heard numerous shots and that people subsequently ran from the mosque.
The NZ Herald reported early on that shots were fired at a mosque close to Hagley Park in the city’s central area.
A dead body was seen lying near a mosque, the newspaper added.
ESPN cricket reporter Mohammad Isam tweeted that a team from Bangladesh “escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters.”
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
All members of the team were safe, their coach told media.
Bangladesh Cricket later confirmed that all team members were safely back in their hotel.
All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, New Zealand are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in constant contact with the players and team management. #christchurchMosqueAttack
Tamim Iqbal Khan, a member of the team, tweeted that the “entire team got saved from active shooters.”
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack
The New Zealand Police tweeted that shots were fired in central Christchurch, advising anyone in the area was advised to stay indoors, and that all schools had been locked down.
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.
In response to a serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown. Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
The New Zealand Police subsequently issued another update saying that they were dealing with a “serious and evolving situation” that was occurring in Christchurch.
“Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high,” they tweeted.
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.
The Guardian went on to report that Christchurch Hospital was on lockdown – that hospital is located approximately two kilometres from the mosque.