UPDATE (LB): The death toll has risen over night to at least 49, with more than 20 seriously injured, according to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
UPDATE: Four suspects, three men, and one woman are now under arrest, according to The Guardian. Bombs were found on cars but they've been removed by police:
Bush says that he can confirm there were a number of IEDs attached to cars that have been made safe now.
“This speaks to the seriousness of what occurred,” said Bush.
...Bush has confirmed that four people are in custody, but that things are moving very quickly.
He will not confirm if it is a terrorist attack, but says “it does not get more serious than this”.
We have horrible reports coming out of Christchurch, New Zealand, where shootings occurred at two mosques. Some publications have the death toll reaching at least 27 people. In one shooting, the shooter live-streamed the attack, but it will not be embedded here on Townhall for obvious reasons. The footage is just too graphic and ghastly. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the tragedy “one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” while the New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said, “No one in the country must go to a mosque under any circumstances.” Commissioner Bush also said that one suspect is in custody. The Guardian has more:
We’re heartbroken over the events in Christchurch today. We stand with our Kiwi friends and neighbors and our prayers are with you. Kia kaha.— Ambassador Brown ???? (@USAmbNZ) March 15, 2019
Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
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
Multiple people have been shot dead in shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch during Friday afternoon prayers. A car with explosives inside was intercepted by police nearby
One suspect is in custody but police warned they are still tracing an active shooter. Police commissioner Mike Bush said: “Close your doors until you hear from us again.”
The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said it was “One of New Zealand’s darkest days”, calling the attacks “an unprecedented act of violence”.
The city has been placed in lockdown, with schools and public buildings closed. Nearby climate change protests were evacuated and council staff have been looking after children separated from their relatives in the chaos.
Ardern spoke of the attacker’s motivation, saying the victims might include refugees and migrants. “They are us,” she said, before saying the perpetrator “has no place in New Zealand”.
Witness Len Peneha says he saw a man dressed in black enter the mosque – believed to have hundreds of people inside – and then heard dozens of shots. He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived.
The publication also reported that the Bangladeshi Cricket Team was about to arrive at the mosque in Christchurch prior to the attack.
Over at The Sun, they report two shooters attacked two separate mosques. One is in custody, while the other is still at large. One shooter, reportedly a white supremacist, published a disturbing manifesto prior to the attack:
Two gunmen opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, at 1.40pm local time on Friday
Unconfirmed body count could be up to 27, including children - according to local reports.
One of the gunmen live-streamed the deadly attack on Facebook using a GoPro in footage too distressing to show
It is understood he is a pro-Trump Australian-Brit who published a chilling 37-page manifesto before the rampage
Cops arrested one of the gunmen - with the second is still on the run
The Bangladesh cricket team were at one of the mosques and escaped the shooting
Cops fear there may be explosives in a crashed car on a Christchurch street.
Schools in the city are on lockdown:
1/4 Due to the ongoing serious firearms incident in Central Christchurch Police would like to remind all parents and caregivers that schools across the city remain in lock down.There is no timeframe at this stage for when the lock down will be lifted. The children are being...— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
2/4 taken care of by schools. On advice from Police, schools will communicate directly with parents when the lock down is lifted.The safety of the community is our priority.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
3/4 We will provide updates on the incident as and when they are available and you can get these on our Facebook (link is external) page and website.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
4/4 Media please note the stand up with Commissioner Mike Bush has been pushed back to 5.30pm. This will be held at the Royal Society on Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019