A shooting at a mosque in the NZ city, which is reported to have left several people dead, was livestreamed online.
Note: this is the original report published at 3.25pm on March 15 2019. It was updated through the day to incorporate developments and responses, including from Facebook. The final updated post from the end of the day can be viewed here.
An apparent mass murder in Christchurch this afternoon was streamed live on Facebook, with use of a GoPro. The man’s Facebook account is no longer available.
Dozens of armed police have been deployed, streets cleared and schools placed in lockdown after shots were fired at a mosque where hundreds were praying near Hagley Park in Christchurch.
The Spinoff has established that in an online post on a forum separate from Facebook, left minutes before the attack began, a man said it was time to “stop shitposting” and “carry out an attack against the invaders”.
The man begins by saying, “let’s get this party started”.
The Spinoff has decided not to name the man or the site.
Newshub has unverified reports of six fatalities.
The situation is believed to be ongoing.
An eyewitness inside the mosque told RNZ he heard shots fired and “there was blood everywhere”.
Another eyewitness told RNZ a man wearing a helmet and glasses and a military style jacket opened fire inside the mosque. He said a woman and child were among the injured and the offender had an automatic weapon.
People in central Christchurch have been urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
Police said they were unable to provide any comment beyond their official statements already issued. Facebook has been approached for comment.
Police are currently responding to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at around 1:40pm.Armed police have been deployed.Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019Join us and help us hire new
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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
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