welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: a number of people are killed after shootings at two mosques in the new zealand city of christchurch. there was screaming and crying and i saw some people drop dead. new zealand police say there have been "multiple fatalities" following what they described as a "tragic series of events" in the canterbury region on friday. one person is in custody. the prime minister spoke a short time ago about the gravity of the situation. what i can say is that it is clear that this is one of new zealand's darkest days.
police in the city of christchurch in new zealand say there are multiple fatalities after shootings at two mosques, where hundreds of people had gathered for friday prayers. police say they have one suspect in custody. people across christchurch are being asked to stay indoors, as the city is in lockdown. the new zealand prime minister jacinta arden said it was an extreme and unprecedented act of violence. presently the police do have one suspect in custody. however there could be others involved. also there are multiple seeing is involved in this incident as well. and police will be giving more details as they
can as the situation unfolds. while ican can as the situation unfolds. while i can not give any confirmation at this stage around fatalities and casualties, what i can say is that it is clear that this is one of new zealand's darkest days. clearly what has happened here at is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence. many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to new zealand. they may even be refugees here. they have chosen to make new zealand their home and it is their home. they are asked. the person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. they have no place in new zealand. there is no place in new zealand. there is no place in new zealand. there is no place in new zealand for such act of extreme and unprecedented violence
which it is clear this act was. for now, my thoughts and i'm sure the thoughts of all new zealanders are with those who have been affected and with their families. my thoughts also to those in christchurch who are still dealing with an unfolding situation. the advice from police continues to be that people remain indoors. i acknowledge that that may mean some families are separated but please continue to listen out for information as it comes to light that has been directly provided by the new zealand police with further information. as i say, please remain in locked down, we are potentially still dealing with an involving situation across multiple sites. —— an evolving situation. these be assured that police are actively managing the situation. christchurch hospital is dedicated to treating those who are arriving at the hospital as we speak as well.
in the past half hour new zealand police has tweeted: "police are responding to a very serious and tragic incident involving an active shooter in central christchurch. one person is in custody, however police believe there may be other offenders..." "...however we can confirm there have been a number of fatalities. " "we are mobilising resources nationally and support is being brought into the district." it is almost unprecedented that the police have advised nationwide that all mosques should close their doors. let's speak to our correspondent, hywel griffith. you seen anything more? as you said, the police say it is still an active situation and precautionary actions are being taken such as closing all mosques around the country and we are being told that the cricket international tomorrow involving the bangladesh team has been cancelled. we understand that some members of
the team were actually in one of these mosques when the shooting took place. the police were due to give us an place. the police were due to give us an update but that has been cancelled. we should not read too much into that just cancelled. we should not read too much into thatjust shows that this isa much into thatjust shows that this is a dynamic situation and jacinda ardern said it was an extraordinary one as well. no matter how many pla nts one as well. no matter how many plants there are beforehand this is something that new zealand has not had to deal with the fork. and unprecedented event here. and it has been widely reported that the suspect seems to have live streamed the attack using a helmet camera and there is a manifesto that has been posted online, we're not using because it is horrible and because it is what we assume the gunman wa nts. it is what we assume the gunman wants. but there are reports of him moving from room to room for ten minutes firing and firing. one eyewitness who was in the mosque describes how someone came in wearing military camouflage gear and
a helmet and started shooting with a semiautomatic weapon. from this footage published online, again, unverified but it is believed it may well be footage shot by the person live streaming using facebook live at the time. that footage showed three guns in the car as well as petrol canisters. it may be that this person was able to mount not just ammunitions but guns as well to carry on shooting and the eyewitness spoke about him walking around for ten minutes going from room to room. also reporting that the shooting continued outside the building as well, that shots were fired in the street. you spoke about a suspect andi street. you spoke about a suspect and i know there is footage of a suspect on the pavement, someone wearing military fatigues with a weapon nearby. was apparently near a high school. is there any suggestion that there is another possible target? at the moment, no. it may be entirely call incidental that that is where they were apprehended.
there is now more footage of the person being held, chased and then held down by the police and then being handcuffed so we understand that the person they believe is the shooter has been held alive and they are now in police custody. what is unclear at the moment is whether there are any other accomplices or shooters working alongside this person. police have confirmed that there were two locations where deaths occurred. we are not yet clear if it was one person moving from one to the other by a vehicle, the footage does show a vehicle carrying several guns or whether there was a potential accomplice and thatis there was a potential accomplice and that is why christchurch is still in locked down, for the precaution that there may be another shooter at large. and not only trying to save the wounded were trying to find out if there is another shooter at large. made more difficult either fa ct large. made more difficult either fact that today was a day of climate change rally involving hundreds of
children and open spaces in cities across the country. —— difficult by the fact. it did happen in school time and parents may be confused about where their children were, where they are at school or at the protest? schools are in locked down and many may have been concerned about where their children were. but the main concern will be among families who knew they had friends oi’ families who knew they had friends or relatives playing at friday prayers at either of the two mosques involved with the police have confirmed that multiple fatalities. —— family or relatives frying at friday prayers. it has been difficult to tell people that they are safe and well. it is still a confusing and dynamic scene and a tragic one for new zealand. in the words of the prime minister it is unprecedented and her shocked people across the country. i don't expect you to have detailed but for those
who do not know, can you tell us more about the law in new zealand? it is not a gun carrying culture. similarto it is not a gun carrying culture. similar to australia where i am now you need a special licence to carry a gun. police themselves do not carry guns as they do in australia. they tend to carry cases if they need to apprehend someone. therefore ina need to apprehend someone. therefore in a small city like christchurch it is actually the police themselves who only have a small unit. there are strict laws in place one of the many questions that needs to asked after this event is ended is how this person was able to dig gathered together a cachet of guns. according together a cachet of guns. according to the unverified video footage released three weapons in the car that they were using and, worryingly, or tellingly, perhaps, these guns had things written on them. it suggests a long planning phase within the attack. this person
simply did not instinctively grabbed guns to carry it out but they would have maybe been thinking through how to orchestrate such a bloody attack for a long time. thank you very much for a long time. thank you very much for that. i think we can go live to christchurch now to carl penny. i know you live in christchurch, you are in lockdown at the moment can you tell more about the situation? we are in locked down at about 20 minutes to three we were told to stay indoors and we just saw police going everywhere and then we were told to not stand near windows and i have heard that there was a mosque down the road from us and there was a shooting so will i know is that i
have seen the videos that came through unfortunately i saw the video of the guy doing what he did and he was in a grey subaru, he got out with a number of guns, loaded up and said that he was about to get the party started. he went into the mosque and shot people. apparently he has been caught but the reason we are in locked down is because they think there may be other shooters involved and if from what it sounded like, the other shooter was at the other mosque down the road from where we are. so other mosque down the road from where we are. so we're other mosque down the road from where we are. so we're just freaking out, really. we were sitting u psta i rs out, really. we were sitting upstairs and can't go anywhere. we should say that one suspect is in custody and we don't know, there is nothing proven about the person who has been arrested. we know there is
footage of, as you say, a white male wearing military fatigues on the ground being arrested and there was a weapon nearby as well. as you say, just their freaking out. a weapon nearby as well. as you say, just theirfreaking out. a terrifying time and anyone would have enormous empathy that this is happening in your city. it has been made more complicated because of the climate change rally is going on. protests a nd climate change rally is going on. protests and a lot of kids out in open spaces in cities across the country. yeah. there was a protest for the environment and i don't know if you know christchurch very well it is not that far away from where the mosque is so apparently the police said everyone had to go home, there is an active shooter. they have all gone, they all went at the moment i guess we just see police
ca i’s moment i guess we just see police cars and helicopters and were not used to that. christchurch is a quiet city and we were wondering what was going on. sorry i don't enter into raunchy but advice from police —— sorry, i don't mean to interrupt you advice from police is that to stay where you were even if you are separated from family and loved ones because that is safer, there may still be people out there shooting who have not yet been apprehended. yes. that is correct. 0ne police officer said that there are multiple shooters. he has been brought in from off duty. they are stationed outside christchurch and all the officers within the canterbury region have been called
in to get i phoned my mother and my mother picked up my child so they are home at my house. my wife and my four—year—old irene lockdown at their —— are in lockdown at their primaries called. no—one is allowed to go anywhere because they don't really know how many shooters there are. that they feel there is definitely more than one. it is a difficult time and we appreciate you talking to us. i think we should go to this point now. members of the bangladesh cricket team were about to enter one of the mosques, that one match, when the shooting began.
now, the first that many people knew about this was a tweet from a reporter who said that the team had to flee the mosque after a shooting. can you tell us more? when the news broke out it was early in the morning here in bangladesh so everybody was searching for news about what happened to the cricket team, are they safe? so later we got to know that the team were in a nearby practice session but two players, the rest of them were going to the mosque and they were about to enter. and then the gunmen took control of the mosque and the attack was going on. then the players immediately were running away from the scene and came to the stadium and the team management advise them to stay in the stadium. later they
we re to stay in the stadium. later they were escorted to the hotel. so the pictures, what we have seen on social media, all the players are scared and frustrated, devastated and definitely they are lucky to survive because as you know one bangladeshi reporter who was covering the event he had a facebook post when he said that least 27 people dead so far, this is his version. now where are the bangladeshi players go, because they are mostly a muslim society and the players in the team except a couple are muslims so wherever they go they go for prayer wherever it is. this is part of their plan when they are there. now bangladeshi cricket management and the cricket board president is due to hold abe press
conference within an hour or two where he will actually inform the media whether the team should stay in new zealand or not because the bangladesh cricket team have been touring new zealand for the last several weeks. have already played two test matches against new zealand and 31—day internationals. —— three matches that were one—day internationals. said the third match will be held in a day or two, so one of the bangladeshi cricketers said that the situation that they have been passing through, it is not possible for them to continue the tour. but even the bangladesh cricket board management will take the final decision. it is an obvious point and you have anticipated there, but i can see new zealand cricket anticipating now — confirming now
that the third test has now been cancelled. we should stress that the whole team unhurt. yes, the whole tea m whole team unhurt. yes, the whole team is on her, that is good news for bangladesh and bangladeshis because they were just a few hundred metres away from the mosque, so they immediately came back to the stadium premises, as i mentioned. that is why they are saying they are unhurt, the people are expressing their gratitude on the social media bangladesh. that the bangladesh cricket team is unhurt. this kind of attack that took place in new zealand, the years ago, the australian cricket board cancelled their tour to bangladesh, apprehending a terrorist attack in bangladesh and later on, i'm talking
about two years ago, but this kind of attack happened inside a mosque. this is very unprecedented for bangladeshi players and for bangladeshi players and for bangladeshi muslims, they cannot really accept it and they are so scared and frightened because they think it is not safe to stay new zealand. is there any suggestion that the team were targets? not really, we cannot see any suggestion here because the attack took place inside the mosque, and before the bangladeshi team players got here, so bangladeshi team players got here, so if they were the target, the situation could have been different. so now we can say that clearly that the team was not the target, but the way they entered the mosque in the description we got from the bangladeshi journalists who are covering the event, it surely the bangladesh cricket team was not a target but the result would have been very different once the
bangladesh cricket team entered the mosque. thank you very much indeed. we should just play this, i think, senior member of the mosque was in the building, we're talking here about the first mosque, the al noor. we understand there was a second attack at the linwood mosque not far away. a senior member of the al noor mosque was inside the building at the time of the shooting. he spoke was a short time ago, he was outside the police caught in that we should warn you does describe pretty upsetting scene. i was inside the mosque. i was in the side room and the imams had started the sermon, so everybody was settled, and it was very time and quiet, as usually it is when the imam starts talking, eve ryo ne is when the imam starts talking, everyone is quiet and it is a pin drop silence, but then suddenly, the
shooting started. so it started in the main room because the shooter must have come through the hallway andi must have come through the hallway and i was on the side room so i did not see who was shooting, but i saw that some people were running out through my comments to my room where i was through my comments to my room where iwas in, through my comments to my room where i was in, and also i saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping, at that moment, i realised it was really serious and a couple of people there said to me that you are in a wheelchair, you have to get out now. so i tried to get out and i pushed myself in the back, where my car was parked and i was behind the car, and then from there, i was hearing shooting shooting of the shooting. it went on about six minutes or more, and i
could hear screaming and crying and i saw some people who drop dead, and some people were running away. i was on the road here, i... i could not go anywhere and also, did not want to because i was afraid what was going to happen to the ladies, what was going to happen to my wife, so i stayed there but luckily, the shooter, he did his massacre inside the mosque and he did not come in the mosque and he did not come in the back, otherwise he could have got me. a senior member of the al noor mosque who was inside when that first attack happened. we're going to speak now to our correspondent hywel griffith in just a to speak now to our correspondent hywel griffith injust a moment, about eight minutes we think possibly we're going to hear police press c0 nfe re nce possibly we're going to hear police press conference from wellington, as soon press conference from wellington, as soon as press conference from wellington, as soon as that happens of course, we will go straight to it live. i know the question hywel, that many people will be asking is is there any
update on whether there is another shooter on the loose? that will be the first question that i sure the police are asked. the last time they spoke they did leave open the suggestion that they may be another offender in the area. now, people clearly hope that there is not still a government on the loose. it is clear that one person has apprehended and images are now being shared online at that person wearing military fatigues, someone matching the description of someone in military gear, who had a helmet and a bullet—proof vest, walking into the mosque and opening fire with a semiautomatic weapon. but clearly, the police were concerned enough to keep the city on lockdown and to make that warning public for people to stay off the streets, in fear that they would either be an accomplice on the loose or potentially someone who they feared would be inspired and would react within christchurch, following on from tragic events. the prime
minister talked about involving situation across multiple sites, didn't she, now also go? and police are talking about a number of scenes and this unprecedented warning to mosques across the country, because new zealand to close their doors. absolutely, and that shows you the threat level that people fear. again, probably more of a copycat incident rather than there being a nationwide orchestrated, planned attack. but it is being treated, we understand, as a terrorist attack. this is clearly somewhat inspired by hatred and hatred towards kiwi muslims in the muslim population within new zealand, and that is why in order to protect the safety of people, many of the people who would be going or attending friday prayers for their own safety, have been told to stay away, to stay at home in order to protect them and to try and stop any further risk of people
being injured. and again, of course the obvious question, what many people will be wondering, more updated casualty figures. if you're going to open fire with a semiautomatic weapon for ten minutes ina semiautomatic weapon for ten minutes in a confined space, we can understand why the police are talking about multiple fatalities, multiple people wounded. absolutely, and those eyewitness accounts talk about bodies on the ground, they talk about a gunman shooting at children, some of the descriptions, as you have heard, clearly very upsetting, they do paint a picture as well of there being multiple, dozens, potentially of people with serious injuries and that, of course, leads us to the possibility that there may be deaths, it may be in double figures here and beyond that, it would simply be speculation but you can tell from the volume of ambulances arriving at christchurch hospital, by the fact they have had to close down all of the other treatment at hospital today, the fa ct treatment at hospital today, the fact that the emergency services are now at full stretch in order to deal
with this situation and that, again, is potentially a symptom ofjust how big a situation this is and just how terrifying the situation has become. hywel, just on that particular point, it is still the case is it that hours after this started all hours after news of it first came out that cities, christchurch is in lockdown, the warnings are still out, people are expected to stay in their schools, offices, out, people are expected to stay in theirschools, offices, homes, do not go onto the streets? yeah, and we may learn more now from the police, as you've said, they are due to speak within the next few minutes. everyone would hope that they can bring us the news of the situation, the lockdown at least is over and that they have cleared the threat. but until that message has been sent out, the messages of caution and obviously keeping eve ryo ne caution and obviously keeping everyone in safety. the fact that
there are two locations relatively close to each other but still, multiple locations, does leave the possibility of multiple assailants and that is why i think initially, maybe as a precaution, we simply do not know, the police had to issue this warning of lockdown and clearly, the one gunmen that they have apprehended, he was tracked down away from the mosque. we understand quite new school. no suggestion at the moment that the school was a target, but this person was trying to get away and therefore that widen the crime scene, and we have heard reports that there were shots fired outside of the mosque as well. we do not know yet whether that lead to any injury or fatality but it does all paint a picture of just how widespread this crime scene is and how big the investigation ultimately will have to be. hywel, thank you very much for that. just to remind you, we are expecting to ta ke to remind you, we are expecting to take you live injust to remind you, we are expecting to take you live in just a few minutes now, it could be four minutes or so till the capital wellington for a press co nfe re nce till the capital wellington for a press conference on the police. we will get all the latest from that, the prime ministerjacinda ardern spokejust a short the prime ministerjacinda ardern spoke just a short while ago. she was about to head to wellington, of
course, but let's hear something of what she said. presently, the police do have one suspect in custody, however, there could be others involved. also, there are multiple scenes involved in this incident as well, and police will be giving more details as they can, as the situation unfolds. while i cannot give any confirmation at this stage around fatalities and casualties, what i can say is that it is clear that this is one of new zealand's darkest days. clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence. many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to new zealand, they may be migrants to new zealand, they may even be refugees here, they have
chosen to make new zealand their home and it is their home. it is a grave, home and it is their home. it is a grave , very home and it is their home. it is a grave, very serious, we have dealt with in active shooter situation, we have multiple fatalities at this point. i cannot say how many, but it is significant. they occurred in two locations, to mosques in christchurch, one at deans avenue, and one at linwood avenue. now, police have those locations locked down. we have four people in custody. we do not, we are not aware of other people but we cannot assume there are not others at large. we have a number of schools in lockdown. we are currently making sure we have enough staff to
saturate the area with enough equipment to ensure that when we release that lockdown, people can get home safely. we are in the process of that, it will happen very shortly. we are pouring resources into that area, every available canterbury staff member and people nearby, other emergency services also, are saturating that area with visibility to ensure that everyone who needs to get home can get home safely. we're also setting up a facility, as we must, because this is absolutely tragic, there will be so is absolutely tragic, there will be so people affected, so that people can get more information. they will be worried about their loved ones, we do not have