LIVE: Forty people confirmed dead in Christchurch mosque terror attacks

 tvnz.co.nz  3/15/2019 1:20:30 AM  2

Live updates as mass shooting takes place at two Christchurch mosques leaving multiple casualties, refresh for latest updates.

7:47pm: The Canterbury District Health Board says there are currently 12 people in operating theatres being treated for gunshot wounds.

Another 48 people ranging from young children to adults were brought into hospitals around the Canterbury region after the attacks.

The CDHB are urging family members to stay away from Christchurch Hospital so people there can get the best treatment.

7:41pm: The Christchurch mosque shootings are now the deadliest in New Zealand history.

Previously the Aramoana massacre claimed the lives of 13 people in 1990.

7:40pm: Gunman Brenton Tarrant had two accomplices and the fourth person arrested today was not connected to the shootings Ms Ardern says.

7:26pm: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just confirmed that 40 people have died in the mosque attacks.

She said that 10 people were killed at the Linwood mosque and 30 at the Deans Ave mosque.

A further 20 people have been seriously injured.

Ms Ardern says those arrested today were not on any watch lists in New Zealand.

The national security threat has been raised from low to high in the wake of the attacks.

7:10pm: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has spoken to John Campbell this evening.

"We need to come together and care for each other, we need to make this unite us, not divide us."

6:55pm: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has just spoken on the attacks.

"We grieve we are shocked appalled and outraged as we stand here and condemn the attack that occurred today by an extremist right wing violent terrorist.

"In a vicious attack that has claimed so many New Zelander's."

He gave his heartfelt sympathies to all of the New Zealand people and all those of Islamic faith in Australia and New Zealand.

6:50pm: The lock down at Christchurch Hospital has now been lifted as police get control over what has been a, "fluid situation".

6:47pm: Sommerville St in Dunedin has been cordoned off by heavily armed police.

Police have not confirmed if the cordon is related to the mosque attacks.

6:40pm: St Peter's Anglican Church in Wellington is holding a vigil at 7pm tonight.

6:23pm: Latest update from St John: St John has transferred multiple patients to Christchurch Hospital and local medical facilities.

Patient injuries ranged from minor through to those with critical gun shot wounds.

There have been multiple fatalities. 

6:31pm: With everyone on edge, police say they are in attendance at an incident in Britomart, Auckland where a bag has been located unattended.

6:12pm: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is currently in a high level briefing and will address the country at 7pm.

6:01pm: An update from Christchurch Airport over flights.

5:55pm: Police can now confirm the lock down of schools throughout Christchurch has been lifted.

5:39pm: An Australian police source has named the gunman as Brenton Tarrant from Grafton New South Wales.

5:31pm: Police Commissioner Mike Bush says three men and one woman have now been arrested over the attacks at two mosques.

Police cannot say how many fatalities there are, but there have been a "significant number" of deaths.

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Police Commissioner Mike Bush briefed media just a couple of hours following the shooting which injured dozens.

It cannot yet be confirmed that everyone involved in the attacks have been apprehended.

There were a number of improvised explosive devices found in vehicles after the shootings.

5:25pm: Another eyewitness has told 1 NEWS the gunman herded people into a corner of one of the mosques involved in the shooting and "continued to fire".

5:15pm: Thousands of children remain in lockdown at schools across Christchurch.

One school principal has emailed parents to say approximately 750 pupils at the school on the outskirts of Christchurch, are still in lockdown and will remain that way till at least 5:30pm

5:03pm: The next Test match between Bangladesh and the Black Caps has been cancelled in the wake of the shootings.

5:01pm: 1 NEWS understands the person behind the shooting is an Australian citizen. 

It is not yet known if there was more than one person involved in the attack.

4:46pm: Terrifying footage has emerged of the gunman livestreaming the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave.

4:45pm: Air New Zealand has released a statement around travel to Christchurch.

"We are deeply saddened by the shooting tragedy in #Christchurch city and our thoughts go out to all those involved.

"We are offering flexibility to anyone booked to travel to or from Christchurch today."

4:25pm: People are warned to stay away from mosques around New Zealand until further notice.

Footage has also emerged of a man being arrested near a crashed white SUV in Christchurch.

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A man is in police custody after shootings at two mosques in Christchurch today. Source: Supplied

4:15pm: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirms there are multiple locations involved in the Christchurch shootings and calls it "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

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The Prime Minister spoke in a press conference following the shooting at two Christchurch mosques this afternoon.

Ms Ardern says the incident is still "potentially unfolding" and warns people to stay safe while offering her condolences to victims and those effected by the tragedy.

"This violence has absolutely no place in New Zealand this is not who we are.

"This has occurred in a place where people should be safe and they weren't."

4:00pm: Latest update from police: There have been multiple fatalities, there is still an active shooter scenario playing out.

One person is in custody and there have been people killed in two mosques, one on Deans Ave and one in Linwood.

3:53pm: Security Analyst Paul Buchanan says he has seen the gunman's manifesto and the shooting is "clearly a case of a white supremacist".

He says the shooter would likely have had support in carrying out the attack.

3:49pm: There are unconfirmed reports at least nine people have been killed in the attack.

3:47pm: Another eyewitness has talked to 1 NEWS about the harrowing incident.

"The gunman came through the main entrance, everyone ran to the back doors to save themselves, people hid under cars and jumped the fence to escape.

"I hid at a house next to the mosque and the firing went on and on.

"I saw a guy reloading and changing a gun then start firing again."

3:40pm: Police in Auckland are sending officers to all mosques in the region as a precaution.

3:30pm: A Christchurch courier driver says he heard gunshots going off within the Linwood Mosque for 45 seconds to a minute before coming "within spitting distance" of another gunman "spraying bullets" outside.

This is a different mosque than the confirmed shooting at Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave.

1 NEWS is attempting to confirm the reports of this second incident.

3:26pm: 1 NEWS understands more than 30 people have been brought into the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital.

There were hundreds of people in the mosque at the time of the incident and one witness says he saw a man enter the mosque with an automatic rifle, who was shooting for 10-15 minutes.

The man was reportedly wearing a black helmet.

3:25pm: Latest update from St John: St John was notified of a firearms incident in Central Christchurch at 1.53pm Friday afternoon.

We have approximately 20 emergency ambulances and operational vehicles at scene providing support and will continue to update you as information comes to hand.

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Ambulances continue to arrive with the victims. Source: 1 NEWS

3:20pm: Leader of the National Party Simon Bridges has tweeted about the incident. 

3:10pm: What we know so far:

At least one gunman opened fire at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave around 1:40pm.

Witnesses heard multiple gunshots, some saying up to 100 and there are multiple casualties.

Much of Christchurch is on lockdown as police respond to an 'active shooter' situation.

2:58pm: Witness interview at the scene.

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The man said he ran away from the shooter to a spot behind the mosque where he called police. Source: 1 NEWS

2:55pm: RNZ reports about 300 people were inside the Linwood mosque for afternoon prayers.

This is the second mosque where unconfirmed reports of a second shooting have emerged.

2:52pm: A witness told 1 NEWS they heard at least 20 shots at the mosque from what sounded like a semi-automatic firearm.

2:47pm: Footage at Christchurch Hospital shows multiple people arriving by ambulance on stretchers.

A man is reported to have entered the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave around an hour ago and opened fire.

2:45pm: Latest police update: "In response to a serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown."

2:42pm: The Bangladesh cricket team were filmed escaping Hagley Park near the first mosque where a shooting has taken place.

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The team were in Hagley Park and have gone back to the Oval. Source: Twitter/Mohammad Isam

2:35pm: A message from an eyewitness to 1 NEWS says: "My husband was driving past he said he took three people to the hospital, one was a little girl all had been shot.

"He wanted to take more he said there was like a dozen people just lying on the road." 

2:32pm: There are multiple reports on social media that their has been a shooting at a second mosque in Linwood.

Police are yet to confirm this.

2:31pm: Linwood Ave school is also now in lockdown.

2:30pm: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is being briefed on the unfolding situation and will address it shortly.

2:20pm: Witness at the scene Mohammed Nazir told 1 NEWS he saw three women shot and bleeding on the ground outside the mosque.

He rang police for help and climbed a wall to escape.

He had to run in terror in his socks leaving his shoes behind to get to safety.

2:18pm: Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.

2:15pm: Armed police have been deployed to the area according to police, no reports on injuries at this stage.

2:05pm: Police are asking people to "please avoid the Deans Avenue area" saying they will give more information soon.

2:04pm: A witness told Stuff she heard 20 gunshots and saw three people lying on the ground near a mosque on Deans Ave.

2:00pm: Three Schools around Hagley Park including Girls High and Christ’s College are in lockdown.

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