A terrorist opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Friday, reportedly killing 27 people, including children. The murders were livestreamed to Facebook by the shooter, who was wearing a body camera.
There were reports of a third shooting location, Christchurch Hospital, and that a car bomb was found in a vehicle near one of the mosques.
The 28-year-old gunman, who was born in Australia, targeted the mosques as an “act of revenge on the invaders, for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history; for the enslavement of millions of Europeans taken from their lands by the Islamic slavers… for the thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks throughout European lands,” according to an 87-page manifesto he posted links to on Twitter and 8Chan.
Mohan Ibn Ibrahim, who was inside one of the mosques targeted by the terrorist, told CNN:
“There is a barricade in the middle so if somebody gets inside by using the main door they have to come inside and walk maybe one minute.”
“When I heard that there is a shooting — the sound whats coming. I thought maybe it was an electrical circuit or something. But then it continuously happened.”
Ibrahim said people began running out of the mosque and he “had to jump out of the wall” to escape.
“And we are still hearing the sound of the gun, continuously shooting for ten to 15 minutes,” he said.
“I came to the street I saw one person got shot on his chest,” he said, adding that the ambulance and police then arrived on the scene.”
The horrific video footage depicted unarmed, innocent people being slaughtered at point-blank range. It quickly made it onto Twitter and other social media sites. Police in New Zealand are attempting to have all of the footage deleted.
Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference Friday afternoon in which she announced the arrest of Brenton Tarrant but said that “there could be others involved.” As a result, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush told people to stay away from mosques anywhere in New Zealand.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) March 15, 2019
Ardern said the attacks were “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence” and that “this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.