CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Many people were killed in shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said.
New Zealand police say four people total have been taken into custody, including 3 men and 1 woman.
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.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.
1/5 Police is 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 and we are working to confirm the facts…— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
And New Zealand media reported a shooting at a second mosque in a Christchurch suburb.
Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1:45 p.m. and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
Peneha, who lives next door to the mosque, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in Peneha’s driveway, and fled.
Peneha said he then went into the mosque to try and help.
“I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque,” he said. “It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”
He said he helped about five people recover in his home. He said one was slightly injured.
“I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly,” he said. “I just don’t understand it.”
He said the gunman was white and was wearing a helmet with some kind of device on top, giving him a military-type appearance.
The New Zealand Herald reported there was a second shooting at the Linwood Masjid Mosque.
Mark Nichols told the Herald he heard about five gunshots and that a Friday prayer goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun. Nichols said he saw two injured people being carried out on stretchers past his automotive shop and that both people appeared to be alive.
New Zealand historically has had only a handful of mass shootings events.
For live, local news, download the KRONon app. It lets you watch commercial-free the Bay Area’s Local News Station on multiple streaming devices.
- COLLEGE CHEATING SCANDAL: ACTORS, STANFORD COACH CHARGED
- SUSPECT ARRESTED IN STABBING DEATH OF SAN JOSE MOTHER
- FACEBOOK SAYS SOME QUIZZES WERE GUISE TO HACK YOUR ACCOUNT
- TRUMP SAYS ‘AIRPLANES ARE BECOMING FAR TOO COMPLEX TO FLY’
- WATCH: HUNDREDS OF TACOS RAIN DOWN ON VISITORS IN TEXAS