Christchurch mosque shooting: Deans Avenue on lockdown after gunfire

World       by Web Desk | Published

A gunman has opened fire at a crowded mosque in central Christchurch in New Zealand, killing multiple people and injuring "many" more, witnesses say.

A dead body has been seen lying near Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and a second gunman has been seen near Linwood Masjid mosque.

Mohan Ibrahim is one of around 400 people who were inside Christchurch's Masjid Al Noor mosque near Hagley Park praying when the shooting began.

New Zealand media reported that between nine and 27 people were killed, but the death toll could not be confirmed.

New Zealand's Police Commissioner Mike Bush said "as far as we know" multiple fatalities occurred at two mosques. He called for residents of the city to remain indoors as police conducted an investigation.

Parts of Christchurch is on lockdown and armed police have been deployed after receiving reports of shots fired in the city center at 1:40 p.m. Friday local time. Police confirmed fatalities occurred but did not give a specific number, nor confirm how many were injured. "We have one person in custody but we are unsure if there are other people".

"I saw dead people everywhere", Peneha told the Associated Press.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking in New Plymouth, said the attack marked one of New Zealand's darkest days.

The hospital has alerted the public that it is in lockdown, with no staff or patients able to enter or leave the buildings.

Mass shooting at mosque in Christchurch
New Zealand armed police respond to ongoing firearms incident in mosque

Another witness, Mohan Ibn Ibrahim, told CNN he was inside the mosque when the gunman opened fire.

"I've lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they're very friendly", he said.

In a lenghty manifesto published online the supposed shooter outlined who he was and why he carried out the massacre at the Christchurch mosque.

A police officer attempts to move people away from across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.

A vehicle which is alleged to belong to the gunman was found with several guns it in which had writings on it, reportedly explaining the reason behind the mass shooting.

The Christchurch Mosque shooting suspect wrote "I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse", also said he hoped to draw media attention and hoped to influence political matters in the United States.

"Close your doors until you hear from us again", he said.

A woman told the Christchurch Star she lay in her auto near the mosque as four to five men came running towards her.

This is a developing story, check back for more updates.

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