New Zealand armed police respond to ongoing firearms incident in mosque

Nellie Chapman
March 15, 2019

Several people were reported dead when a gunman opened fire at a crowded mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, during afternoon prayers on Friday.

Multiple casualties are feared in a "critical incident" early Friday as gunshots were heard near a mosque in New Zealand's east-coast city, global media reported, with the Bangladeshi cricket team narrowly escaping danger.

While these figures are sure to change, as of this writing there are indications that "many people" are dead with one local outlet putting the initial confirmed number of victims at nine while more recent but unconfirmed reports indicicate the deathtoll is likely to be dozens or higher.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - There is a "serious and evolving" situation with an active shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, police commissioner Mike Bush said.

Police also urged all mosques in New Zealand to close their doors and asked residents to refrain from visiting.

There are reports that about six people have been taken into Christchurch Hospital.

A worker in the area said at least 30 people have been injured or killed by a gunman.

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. "It's unbelievable nutty. I don't understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone".

Radio Tarana's Pawan Prasad says Christchurch is in lockdown at this stage.

Judge to be assigned to Jussie Smollett case during court hearing today
Gloria Schmidt , the attorney for the brothers allegedly involved in the incident, was also seated in the courtroom. Actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago , Illinois, U.S., March 14, 2019.

Witnesses reported seeing a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit carrying an automatic rifle entering the Masjid Al Noor Mosque.

The Bangladesh Cricket team, who were visiting the city They weren't inside the mosque. "I heard about eight more and then there was another minute and another eight", Jellie said.

Ardern at her news conference alluded to anti-immigrant sentiment as the possible motive, saying that while many people affected by the shootings may be migrants or refugees "they have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home".

Mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Armed police patrol outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15. "I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the backside of the mosque", he said. Who made a decision to take a stand to ensure a future for my people, ' he wrote.

Police have urged individuals near the Christchurch city center to remain indoors as they respond to an "active shooter" situation.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, published the 87-page manifesto, "The Great Replacement" the morning before he opened fire inside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"Please do not try and come and collect your children until police say it is safe for people to come into the central city", they said.

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