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'Active shooter' at large in Christchurch, New Zealand police say

Jule Scherer, DPA on

Published in News & Features

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A gunman is at large in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, police said Friday, after reports of a shooting at a mosque.

"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter," Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement.

Police recommended that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice while all schools were in lockdown until further notice.

Local media reported that dozens of people were injured and several were dead after the man targeted the central mosque, where several hundred people were praying at the time.

The former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Mohammed Jama, who was at the mosque, told local news website Stuff he saw about four people injured and two people lying on the ground.

He did not know if they were alive.

Witness Ahmad Al-Mahmoud told Stuff the shooter was white-skinned, blond, quite short and wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest.


He reportedly had an automatic gun and emptied at least two magazines.

Bangladeshi cricket player Tamim Iqbal said that the entire national team had been at the mosque.

"Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers," he wrote on Twitter.

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