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Breaking News: Mass Shooting at Two Mosques in Christchurch, NZ

From Radio New Zealand:

6 minutes ago

Police say one shooter is in custody but there may be other offenders after ‘multiple fatalities’ at two mosques in Christchurch today. Follow live updates here.

What you need to know:

  • There have been two shooting incidents – at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and at the Linwood Masjid Mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
  • Police Commissioner Mike Bush has confirmed there have been “multiple fatalities”.
  • An eyewitness inside the Masjid Al Noor Mosque says he heard shots fired and says at least five people were lying on the ground.
  • The eyewitness describes seeing a man wearing a helmet and glasses and a military style jacket opening fire inside the mosque with an automatic weapon.
  • About 300 people were inside the mosque for afternoon prayers.
  • Police say the “risk environment remains extremely high”.
  • The manager of the An-Nur Early Childhood centre in Wigram said police gave some parents an update that said there were two gunmen and at least one was on the loose.
  • People in central Christchurch have been urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
  • All Christchurch schools, Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch City Council buildings have been placed into lockdown.
  • Multiple roads in the city, including Blenhein Rd, Moorhouse Ave and Brougham St, have been closed.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says today is one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”.

Radio New Zealand just posted the following:

More from Radio New Zealand:

2 minutes ago

A man purporting to be at the centre of today’s attacks in Christchurch has posted video and documents online.

The videos are distressing and appear to be of the shooting in a mosque.

RNZ will not be publishing video or documents from a person who is believed to be a shooter at the Christchurch mosques.

RNZ is aware of footage of armed police appearing to apprehend a person. RNZ is also aware footage of the shooting is being posted online and a document circulating outlining the shooter’s motives is being shared.

A decision has been made to not publish in any of this material.

Live coverage of the shooting can be found here and a summary of what you need to know is here.

This is obviously going to be a fast moving event and the reporting is likely to change several times before it we have a clear(er) picture of exactly what happened and who perpetrated this attack.

Update at 11:45 PM EDT

New Zealand’s Prime Minister has made a statement (emphasis mine):

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, addressing the media about the Christchurch shooting, says there is “no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme violence”.

The PM said she couldn’t give any confirmation on fatalities at this stage, but “it is clear this one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

“Presently the police do have one suspect in custody however there could be others involved. Also there are multiple scenes involved in this incident as well and police will be giving more details as they can as the situation unfolds,” she said,

About 300 people were inside a Christchurch mosque for afternoon prayers when a gunman attacked them.

An eyewitness said there was “blood everywhere”, adding that a man wearing a helmet and glasses and a military-style jacket opened fire inside the mosque with an automatic weapon.

Police say the “risk environment remains extremely high”.

At the moment police have stated that they have one offender in custody, however, they have advised that there may be other offenders.

“Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” Ms Ardern said.

“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting will be migrants, they will be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us.

“The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand.

“There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence which it is clear this act was. “

She said her thoughts were also with those in Christchurch who were dealing with an unfolding situation.

“Please continue to listen out to information as it comes to light.

“Remain in lockdown, we are potentially dealing with an evolving situation as I said across multiple sites.

“Christchurch Hospital is dedicated to treating those who are arriving at the hospital as we speak.

She is scheduled to return to Wellington today.

People in central Christchurch have been urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.

Updated at 11:55 PM EDT

Here’s video of Prime Minister Ardern making a statement regarding the attack on the two mosques (h/t Aleta in comments)

Updated at 12:05 PM EDT

The shooter posted a 75 page manifesto on 8Chan. He’s a white supremacist, so we can definitely call this an act of terrorism.

At more than 74 pages, the document outlines a white supremacist motivation for the attack. The writer, who identifies himself as a 28-year-old white man born in Australia, quotes the so-called 14 Words, the slogan shared by white supremacists worldwide. He said that while he supported white nationalist groups, he alone had decided to carry out the attack. He described the victims as “invaders” and accused them of seeking to replace white people. He wrote about attacking two mosques, one in Linwood and one in Christchurch. He focused on the latter because it was the largest, he wrote.

Interestingly enough, he was radicalized by Candace Owens, the Hitler afficionado who is the spokeswoman for TPUSA and the leader of Blexit (which isn’t actually a thing…). So congratulations to Candace Owens for inspiring your first terrorist attack. I’m sure you and your family are very proud of all your endeavors.

Newsweek reporter Stephen Asarch has excerpted the manifesto:

(I’ve removed the actual embedded tweets with the excerpts that Asarch made as they were upsetting some readers. They can be found at the link above.)

Open thread!