Breaking: Mass Shootings at Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand

Breaking: Mass Shootings at Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand

At least 49 people have been killed and 40 wounded in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Four people are in custody in connection to the shootings, police confirm.

**Follow all of the events on the Breitbart News Live Wire below. All times in eastern.**

4:40 AM – Death toll rises to 49 as more wounded treated in local hospitals and a man is charged with murder.

3:51 AM – Two backpacks which were left unattended near Britomart Train Station in Auckland blown up by the NZ Defence Force.

2:48 AM — Canterbury District Health Board CEO says 48 patients with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital after two shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

2:36 AM — New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says two “explosives” were “attached to the suspects’ cars,” suggesting there was a “degree of planning” regarding the two mosque shootings in Christchurch. The four suspects were not on a terror-watch list prior to the shootings.

2:34 AM — New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says 40 people are dead in two mosque shootings in Christchurch. 10 people died at the Linwood Avenue mosque, while 30 died at the Deans Avenue mosque.

2:05 AM — NYPD and LAPD are boosting security at mosques in New York City and Los Angeles following shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, according to CBS News.

2:01 AM — Australian prime minister Scott Morrison confirms suspected Christchurch mosque shooter is an Australian-born citizen.

1:45 AM — CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Indonesia’s foreign minister says six Indonesians were at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand when a shooting occurred and three of them escaped. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, “We are looking for three other Indonesian citizens.”

Police have described multiple fatalities in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and say four people are in custody. The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington sent a team to Christchurch that is coordinating with New Zealand officials.

The foreign ministry says there are 330 Indonesian citizens in Christchurch, 130 of them students. It said it strongly condemns the attack. “The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families.”

1:26 AM — CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP)  New Zealand police say they’re not aware of other suspects beyond the four who have been arrested after two mosque shootings but they can’t be certain.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush did not elaborate on the suspects who are in custody.

The shootings occurred at two mosques in the Christchurch area during Friday afternoon prayers.

A witness described multiple deaths at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. A witness who heard about five gunshots at the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque said two wounded people were carried out on stretchers.

1:07 AM —

12:58 AM — New Zealand police say school lockdowns in Christchurch are now lifted, children and staff are free to leave.

12:47 AM — Four people are now in custody in connection to the Christchurch mosque shootings, say New Zealand Police. Three are men and one is a woman. IEDs were found on vehicles. Their ownership is unclear. Police say they are not assuming the shootings are isolated to Christchurch and asked people not assume that they are not in further danger.

12:28 AM — The Herald Sun reports 28-year-old Australian man Brenton Tarrant has been confirmed as one of the Christchurch shooters.

12:24 AM — A Muslim man chased after the suspected shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off from the second mosque shooting in Linwood, according to the New Zealand Herald.

12:15 AM — San Francisco Police say extra officers are being dispatched to mosques in the city after two mosque shootings in New Zealand.

12:06 AM — Police tell reporters a second gunman may still be on the loose following shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, reports ABC News.

12:04 AM — The alleged New Zealand Mosque attacker appears to have used a semi-automatic long gun. Caliber is not clear. The legal acquisition of such a gun involves numerous hurdles, including licensing and background checks.”

11:55 PM — CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says following fatal shootings at two mosques in Christchurch it is “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.

Police said there were multiple fatalities and one person was in custody, but no details were immediately available. Ardern said at a Friday afternoon news conference, “what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” She said while many people affected may be migrants or refugees “they have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”

11:35 PM — New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush says there are “multiple fatalities” at two mosques in Christchurch. One individual in custody, “but we are unsure if there are other people.”

11:33 PM — New Zealand prime minister issues a statement on the shooting:

11:30 PM — A second mosque shooting is now being reported in Christchurch, via the Associated Press: “New Zealand media say a shooting has occurred in a second mosque in the city of Christchurch.

“No details were immediately available.”

The first mosque has been identified as the Masjid Al Noor.

The number of wounded has risen to 50 and one man is reported to be in custody.

11:15 PM — A video posted online shows the gunman, who appears to be a white man in his thirties, driving into an alley near the first mosque and retrieving several rifles in succession from the trunk of his car, along with several extra clips of ammunition. Each of the rifles is scrawled with white writing.

In the footage, which Breitbart News will not post, the gunman approaches the door of the mosque and shoots the people standing there. He then enters the mosque and shoots people in the hallway and in the prayer area. As people duck for cover and try to escape, or huddle together for protection, he shoots them repeatedly. He then returns to his car, retrieves another rifle, and returns, shooting into the pile of bodies and then leaving. He also fires down the street; as he drives away, he is seen firing shots from the car, though the targets are unclear.

A Twitter profile under the name “Brenton Tarrant” posted a manifesto, as well as several close-up shots of what appear to be the rifles used in the attack, where the white writing is more legible. It appears to contain anti-migrant statements. The manifesto itself is an ideological hodgepodge, from socialism to white supremacy to environmentalism. He identifies himself as a fascist and talks about a racial war in the U.S.

New Zealand has restrictive gun laws, of the sort proposed by gun control advocates in the United States.

As one American who emigrated to New Zealand, and who favors gun control, wrote in a 2012 article:

Purchase or import of military style semi-automatics and all handguns must be individually approved by, and registered with, the New Zealand police.

Without a valid and current firearms license, you cannot legally purchase any firearm other than a pellet gun anywhere in New Zealand. There is probably a black market or some other means of acquiring a firearm illegally, but firearms recovered from drug busts or other organised criminal activities typically amount to hunting rifles or pump action shot guns. Handguns and military style semi-automatics are rare, difficult to obtain, and very expensive.

So how do Kiwis go about getting their hands on guns?

The process for obtaining a basic firearms license is long, complicated and expensive. In other words, designed to weed out a broad portion of the population that the law deems unsuitable to possess a firearm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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