POSTED AT 09:48 AM 15-03-2019
Gunman opens fire at Christchurch mosque : New Zealand
Witness claims to have seen 'blood everywhere' as police lock down school and warn there could be more attackers
“Multiple” people have been killed in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, police have said as they warned that more than one attacker may have been involved.
Police declared a “critical incident” after the initial attack at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Deans Avenue where up to 500 people are thought to have been worshipping and warned residents an “active shooter” was in the area.
Reports suggested a second shooting may have taken place at a mosque in the Linwood suburb of Christchurch.
New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said there had been “multiple fatalities” in the attack, and that one person had later been arrested.
Officers added on Twitter: "Police [are] responding to a very serious and tragic incident involving an active shooter in central Christchurch.
One person is in custody, however police believe there may be other offenders. This is an evolving incident."
Another person claimed a man had opened fire inside the mosque with an automatic weapon, while witness Len Peneha told AP he saw a man dressed in black enter the building before shots rang out.
Mr Peneha said he then saw the gunman flee before police arrived and that when he went inside he saw “dead people everywhere”.
Others witnesses told the New Zealand Herald they had heard more than two dozen gunshots.
Members of the Bangladesh cricket team were reportedly caught up in the Deans Avenue incident but not harmed.
Mr Bush said in a statement: “Police are responding [at] full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.
“Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.”