New Zealand shooting: What we know
- Police commissioner said there are a “significant” number of fatalities.
- Four people are in custody.
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
- A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings wrote a manifesto expressing concern about “white genocide.”
Follow below for live updates. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted:
NYPD and LAPD are increasing security at mosques in New York and Los Angeles
1:45 a.m.: Law enforcement officials in the two largest cities in the United States have announced they are increasing security forces at mosques.
One of the suspects in New Zealand appears to have deliberately targeted Muslims in mosques during Friday prayers. The NYPD released a statement to the public saying they are “closely monitoring events in New Zealand, and out of an abundance of caution is assessing security at locations around the city.”
The LAPD said in a Twitter post they are “providing extra patrols around mosques.”
A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings wrote of “white genocide”
1:16 a.m.: In a manifesto that appears to have been posted around the time of the attack, a man who claimed responsibility for the shootings describes himself as an “ordinary” 28 year old born in Australia. CBS News cannot confirm that it was actually posted by the attacker.
He says his parents are of Scottish, Irish and English descent and writes about what he calls “white genocide” driven by a “crisis of mass immigration.”
He says he carried out the attack “to show invaders that our lands will never be their lands…as long as the white man still lives.” He says “we must ensure the existence of our people, and future for white children.”
The purported shooter says he is a supporter of Donald Trump’s in one sense, but not completely: “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.”
The gunman referenced the 2nd Amendment in his manifesto
1:31 a.m.: In the manifesto, the gunman rhetorically asked himself why he chose to use firearms, or guns, to carry out the attack. He answered that “I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse,” adding that “with enough pressure the left wing within the united states will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the U.S. will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty.”
“The U.S. into many factions by its Second Amendment, along state, social, cultural, and most importantly, racial lines,” he said.
Lockdown for schools lifted, hospital still on lockdown
1:26 a.m.: Police have ended the lockdown on schools, allowing worried parents to pick up their children. The two mosques are still under lockdown as is the hospital where the victims were taken.
“We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large police presence in the city and the safety of the community is our priority,” police said in a statement.
4 people in custody, police commisioner says
12:42 a.m.: Police commissioner Mike Bush said at a press conference that there are four people in custody. He said three are men and the other is a woman.
“I won’t assume there aren’t others,” Bush said.
He did not give an exact number of people killed or injured but said there were a “significant” number of fatalities.
He said they “aren’t assuming” it is limited to Christchurch.
There were a number IEDs attached to vehicles that were stopped, Bush said.
Police officers will now be carrying weapons.
Police urged all mosques in New Zealand close their doors
12:23 a.m.: Police said there multiple casualties at two mosques.
Police also urged all mosques in New Zealand close their doors and asked residents to refrain from visiting.
Residents of Christchurch were also asked to stay indoors.
Prime Minister: “It’s clear this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days”
11:55 p.m.: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference that “it’s clear this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
“Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” Ardern said.
Ardern said many of the people directly affected by the shooting may be migrants or refugees. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and they are us … there is no place in New Zealand for acts of unprecedented and extreme violence, which it is clear this is.”
Witness: “I saw dead people everywhere”
11:55 p.m.: Witness Len Peneha told the Associated Press he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
“I saw dead people everywhere,” Peneha said. “There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque. It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”
Brian Pascus, Lex Haris and Brian Dakss contributed reporting.