Christchurch mosque terrorist shootings: What you need to know

2019-03-17 07:09:17

Fifty people are dead after a gunman opened fire on two Christchurch mosques. A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder.


Police were alerted to a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave, near Hagley Park, at 1.53pm on Friday. It is believed the shooting began about 1.40pm.

There were at least 300 people in the mosque.

A second attack happened at the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Ave, which was reported about 30 minutes later. One gunman is believed to be responsible for both shootings, police say.

Police escorted several people, believed to be worshippers, out of the mosque at 2.20pm.

A witness said she heard gunshots at the Linwood mosque at 1.45pm. That would be about five minutes after the Deans Ave shootings.


A man has been charged with murder and appeared in Christchurch District Court on Saturday morning.

The alleged gunman identified himself as Australian-born Brenton Tarrant.

He was not previously on any terror or police watch lists.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand will not attempt to deport Tarrant to Australia, and that charges and the trial will take place in NZ.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the shootings a terrorist attack.

"It is clear that this is one of New Zealand's darkest days," she said. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence."

In reference to the attackers, she said "You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you."

Ardern said many of those in the mosques were likely to be migrants – but "they are us".

"The person who has committed this act against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand."

Ardern said gun laws will change in light of the shooting.


Fifty people are dead. Forty-one were killed at Masjid Al Noor, and seven died at the Linwood Masjid. One person died in hospital after suffering serious wounds. Another victim was discovered at one of the mosques on Sunday.

Fifty people with gunshot wounds were admitted to Christchurch Hospital.


Police found two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) under one car in the city, believed to be the gold Subaru the shooter ws driving.

The bombs have been assessed by the Defence Force and are now safe.


The shooter posted a 16-minute livestream of the attack on the Deans Ave mosque.

The graphic and disturbing footage was circulated online. Spokespeople for Facebook and YouTube said they were working to remove the video.

Police made a statement saying they "strongly urge" people not to share the footage, and they were working to remove it.

Ardern said" "What all of us can at least do is make sure we do not share, spread, or actively engage in that message of hate."


Residents in Christchurch had been told to stay inside their homes and students could not go home from school.

The lockdown ended just before 6pm on Friday, and children could be picked up.

Blenheim Rd and Moorhouse Ave have now fully reopened following Friday's terror attack.

As of Saturday night, Deans Ave remains closed south of Kilmarnock St, while Riccarton Rd is closed between Clarence St and Deans Ave and Riccarton Ave is closed between Hagley Ave and Deans Ave.


Members of the Bangladesh cricket team were in a bus heading into the Deans Ave mosque when the first attack occurred.

Coaching staff confirmed no team members were hurt, but that they were shaken.

The third test was expected to begin at Hagley Oval on Saturday. The game was cancelled, and the Bangladeshi team went home as soon as possible.

The Highlanders v Crusaders match at Forsyth Barr Stadium was cancelled on Saturday.

New Zealand Rugby says it was "an easy decision" in to call off the game as a way to showing respect to the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attacks.


Schools will reopen in Christchurch on Monday, with the exception of Hagley College, which is acting as a welfare centre for the mosque shootings.

Every city school was in lockdown on Friday from about 2.30pm until about 6pm.

Ministry of Education director for Canterbury Coralanne Child said counsellors would be in schools on Monday. Each school had a plan for how to care for affected or upset staff and students.

Two Cashmere High School students were killed, and another injured in Friday's terror attacks. Hagley College principal Mike Fowler said the school had been hosting those affected since Saturday.

"Our role as a welfare centre will continue through into Monday. Classes won't run on Monday," Fowler said.


On Sunday, Ardern said armed police will remain at mosques around the country for the forseeable future.


A small number of victims' bodies were being returned to family on Sunday evening and it was hoped all bodies would be returned by Wednesday.


Police Commissioner Mike Bush says police be presenting a very visible presence around the country on Monday when people return to work and school. Bush promised police on foot, in cars and in the air.

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