Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday. Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.
Moreover, New Zealand media reported a shooting at a second mosque in the Christchurch suburb.
A witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1:45 p.m. and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
Peneha, who lives next door to the mosque, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in Peneha’s driveway, and fled.
Peneha said he then went into the mosque to try and help.
Police has put the city schools on lock down.
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
“I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque,” he said. “It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s cricket team escaped unscathed as most of them were about to enter the mosque when the incident happened, reported AFP.
Cricketer player Tamim Iqbal tweeted that it was a “frightening experience” and that there were “active shooters”.
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack
— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019
The Prime Minister of New Zealand has called it one of the ‘darkest days of New Zealand’.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”