Joshua Taylor – Daily Mirror March 15, 2019
At least 40 people have been killed and 20 seriously injured in co-ordinated terror attacks at two mosques.
Innocent worshippers were shot at point blank range in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers.
Officers responded to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT), and urged people in the area to stay indoors.
He published a chilling white supremacy manifesto shortly before going on his rampage – then praised controversial right-wing YouTuber PewdiePie.
The killer’s distressing footage shows dozens of bullets being fired at worshippers, including some who appear already dead.
Worshippers, both dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor of the mosque, the video showed.
Four suspects – three men and a woman – have been arrested and homemade bombs have been discovered strapped onto cars.
The country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the death toll and said at least 20 others had been seriously injured.
Ms Ardern called it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
She added that four people in police custody held extremist views but had not been on any police watchlists.
New Zealand Police said that four people – three men and one woman – were in custody in relation to the attacks.
Police said they had defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the shootings.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said: “Four are in custody. Three are men and one is a woman.
“There were a few reports of IEDs strapped to vehicles, which we were able to secure.”
One of the gunmen was described as wearing a military-style jacket and carrying an automatic weapon.
In Tarrant’s live-stream, he can be seen parking his vehicle outside the Hagley Park mosque, before taking two guns and walking a short distance to the entrance of the building.
He then opened fire. Over the course of five minutes, he repeatedly shoots worshippers, leaving well over a dozen bodies in one room alone.
He returned to the car during that period to change guns, before going back to the mosque to shoot anyone showing signs of life.
Police said the second mosque attacked was in the suburb of Linwood.
All Christchurch schools and council buildings were placed into lockdown.
Hundreds of people were inside the mosques for afternoon prayers at the time.
One witness described seeing “blood everywhere” and one man said there were “bodies all over me”.
Another worshipper was reportedly heard wailing “my wife is dead”.
Ms Ardern said: “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”
Police urged people to stay away from mosques amid fears of further attacks.
The gunman reportedly carried on firing for between 10 and 15 minutes.
One Hagley Park worshipper told 1NEWS: “The gunman came through the main entrance, everyone ran to the back doors to save themselves, people hid under cars and jumped the fence to escape.
“I hid at a house next to the mosque and the firing went on and on.
“I saw a guy reloading and changing a gun then start firing again.”
Members of the Bangladeshi cricket team were near the Hagley Park mosque at the time.
Visibly shaken members of the team were filmed leaving the area.
“They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun,” Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team, told Reuters in a message. “They are shaken but good.”
Bangladesh were scheduled to take on New Zealand on Saturday, but the test match has now been cancelled.
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV
— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
Witness Mohammed Nazir told TVNZ he saw three women bleeding on the ground outside.
He fled the Hagley Park mosque in terror, leaving his shoes and socks behind.
Another witness said: “My husband was driving past he said he took three people to the hospital, one was a little girl, all been shot.
“He wanted to take more, he said there was like a dozen people just lying on the road.”
Australia’s prime minister has confirmed that an Australian citizen has been arrested in New Zealand’s mosque shootings.
All local schools were placed on lockdown and afternoon appointments at Christchurch hospital were cancelled.
Christchurch’s Cathedral Square was also been evacuated where schoolchildren were holding a rally against climate change.
“Horrified to hear of Christchurch mosque shootings. There is never a justification for that sort of hatred,” said Amy Adams, a member of parliament from Christchurch.