tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN March 15, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PDT
an act of extreme violence. >> new zealand prime minister there, a terror attack targets two mosques in new zealand, at least 49 dead in christchurch, three specifics in custody. also breaking, are nuclear talks with north korea over. pyongyang's foreign minister suggests that they could be. good morning, everyone. welcome to "early start." i'm dave briggs. >> i'm alison kosik. it is friday, march 15th. 10:00 p.m. in christchurch. and breaking overnight, at least 49 people killed in a terror attack in new zealand. police say the mass shootings happening at two mosques in christchurch. the country's third largest city. nearly 50 people are in the hospital. much of the city remains on lockdown. >> it is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist
attack. from what we know, it does appear to have been well planned. >> we are currently dealing with an unprecedented situation in new zealand. it is very grave. >> three people are in custody. police are not aware of others involved but cannot rule out the possibility more shooters are at large. here is what an eyewitness told cnn. >> had to jump out of the wall. and we were like hearing the sound of the gun. it just continues the shooting 10 to 15 minutes. and we used the back side and came out on the other street. and since then the police -- we called the police and i saw that one person got shot on his chest and ambulance came and the police came there. doctor was taking care of him. >> cnn's anna coren is
monitoring the situation for us. she joins us live from hong kong. anna, what are we learning? >> reporter: well, as you say, 49 people are now dead. but that death toll could very well rise. there are dozens of others that have been seriously injured, being treated in hospital. so as i say, that death toll could rise. this is unprecedented, this act of violence unprecedented in new zealand. never before has there been a terror attack in new zealand let alone on this scale. this was a massacre. the gunman who we believe to be an australian citizen, he has been charged, he is in his late 20s. he live streamed his killing spree on facebook. i've watched the full video and it is absolutely tore ren did you say. y horrendous. you see him arm himself with semi automatic weapons. he walks through the gates,
starts firing at people outside the mosque. walks into the front doors of the mosque and just mows down every person he can see. you hear people screaming, people moaning, asking for help. he reloads in the corridor, comes back out and continues his killing spree. he then very calmly walks out mosque out on to the pavement, obviously people by this stage have heard the multiple rapid gunshots that he has been firing and he starts picking off people on the pavement. he goes to the car, he gets more ammunition, walks back into the mosque where his killing spree continues. and he goes up to these bodies on the floor of this mosque and at point blank range he executes every single one of them. he then walks out, he sees a woman on the pavement, he shoots her. he then walks up to her once again at point blank range, he shoots her. before that she's saying help me, help me. he then gets in his car and he
drives off. he is talking, he is laughing. you can hear the police sirens roaring towards the mosque. and he is firing out the screen, out the passenger window. these were the actions of a deranged individual. the only thing that we can compare to in that part of the world was the port arthur massacre when 35 people were killed. the death toll in new zealand, a country of some 5 million people, now stands at 49. and as we know, it could very well rise. >> anna, you are from australia. and we here are far too accustomed to mass shootings. but how peace loving, how peaceful is new zealand and how rare are these types of attacks? >> reporter: new zealand is such a beautiful country and it is peace loving, it is welcoming. it is a country that opens its borders to migrants, to muslims, people who are from the war-torn
countries seeking the sasanctua seeking safety and a lovely place for their children to grow up in. as for racial hatred, you don't see it in new zealand. that is why there was no security around these mosques. it just doesn't happen there. obviously that changed today. you about the new zealand prime minister jacinda ardern said this is not new zealand, this is not who we are. we condemn these terrorist acts, we condemn this ideology, the hatred. she said the people who perpetrated these acts, they did not belong there. but those three people who have been apprehended, one of those charged an australia citizen, none of them were on any sort of terror watch list. they had all flown under the radar. >> i spent several weeks in new zealand including in christ church i
church, and i'd agree, just the most welcoming happy country arguably in the world. anna coren, thanks so much. let's bring in now law enforcement analyst and retired fbi supervisory agent james galliano. good to see you. if you can, talk about what you've learned from this disturbing 17 minute facebook post and what do you make of the police response. >> we know that the video that was uploaded as well as the m manifes manifesto, they are trying to take it down. sometimes people avoid the artificial intelligence that screens these things out. i know that has been taken off. i've seen the video. i can only describe it as the level of depravity and in-humanity thin-hugh plan in-huhumanity in this -- >> some perhaps dead, most of
them hiding in the corner. >> and literally going back a second time to make sure people that had already been shot were completely dispatched. these were cold blooded executions. and having seen a lot of crime scenes in my 25 years in the fbi, this was harrowing to watch. >> walk us through the mind of this deranged killer. the manifesto was posted before the attack in an account believed to belong to one of the attackers. it is an unsigned manifesto. you've had a chance to read some of it. what strikes you? >> you always want to be careful in law enforcement, you always want to follow the evidence. and wherever it takes you, that is where you go. you want to be careful because sometimes in the immediate aftermath of something like this, a horrific tragedy, we have to be careful. police can't get focused on one thing or another. it was confusinconfusing. it was the mindset of a mad man. there was obviously hateful rhetoric in there, but there was some deceptive things where you
couldn't tell if he was trying to make police look in one direction but trying to do a fake to another side. very confusing to read. >> and he was calm and calculated. >> obviously he prepared for this. i couldn't tell from the video the type of weapons. appeared to be a semi automatic weapon. but cold, calculating and using a gopro to video it in the style of a violent video game. >> and the story throughout the day will undoubtedly be this manifesto if we can confirm that it was from the very shooter. it is laced with references to the united states, to fortnite the game, to president trump as a reference, to candace owens a trump supporter who inspired the person that wrote this manifesto, we can in the confirm th -- cannot confirm that is the shooter. but if you can talk about the gun laws in new zealand in relation to the united states and australia. >> absolutely. new zealand has pretty strict
gun laws. not as district as australia, but stricter than say the united states. i looked it up. so you have to be a licensed gun owner there. you have to have a criminal history background check before you can purchase a gun and a mental health review. you have to participate in a gun safety program. you have to give the authorities an explanation for how and why the gun will be used. your residence has to be visited. almost like you're adopting in the united states, authorities do a home residence security check to make sure that you have the proper reaccept cal to secure the weapons. and you have to get testimonials from friends and family as far as your mental health.the weapo. and you have to get testimonials from friends and family as far as your mental health. there are only 1.2 guns there, so one gun for every four people. they generally average single digits of gun murders per year. >> clearly there will be a lot of questions how this gunman got
his hand on so many weapons. thanks so much. breaking overnight as well, north korea announcing that it may suspend thuk clenuclear tal the united states, the largest fallout so far from the failed hanoi summit. let's go to paula hancocks. a couple questions. one, would anything go out that wasn't sanctioned by kim jung-un and how much should we trust state run news out of russia task? >> well, the second question first. there were other foreign media that are based in pyongyang who have reported this as well. task has a bureau in north korea. so we can assume that this is pretty accurate. the vice foreign minister saying that north korean leader kim jung-un is deciding whether or not he wants to continue diplomatic talks with the united states. also saying he is trying to figure out if he is going to keep this moratorium on nuclear
and missile testing. she would not have said that if it had not been sanctioned by kim jung-un. it is just out of the question that this did not come from the north korean leader positiohims. the u.s. leader did say when he left hanoi that kim jung-un had guaranteed to him at least that he wasn't going to keep testing nuclear missiles. a couple quotes, she also said we have no intention to yield to the u.s. demands put forward at the hanoi summit in any form nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind. also specifying once again that they didn't ask for all sanctions to be lifted as mr. trump had said, but only a few that affected their people. also saying the u.s. were too busy with pursuing their own political interests and had no sincere intention to achieve a result. so this really has been seen as
an you wiu ultimatum, not surpr straight out of the north korean playbook that they are trying to put u.pressure on the presidento go back to the negotiations. they do say that the relationship between kim jung-un and the president is still good. they put the blame on the secretary of state mike pompeo and also on john bolton. >> and that is the fascinating part. they describe the chemistry as mysteriously wonderful between kim jung-un and donald trump. paula hancocks live for us in seoul. thanks. overnight israel launched strikes into gaza, retaliation for rockets fired towards tel aviv for the first time since the 20 on 14 war. a whole new way to care for newborns is born. on 14 war. n 14 war. 14 war. 14 w. made with real cotton, and enhances your gentle touch. a new soft, a new touch, a new gentle. johnson's cottontouch™. choose gentle. johnson's cottontouch™.
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israel hitting targets in gaza following the attack. cnn's melissa bell is live for us at the israel/gaza border. and we have just learned that the israel defense force thinks that rockets from gaza that started this escalation may not have actually been sanctioned? >> reporter: well, that is according to israeli media reports for the time being suggesting as you say that the israeli defense force's assessment is that those original rockets that kicked off this exchange of fire overnight between hamas within gaza and israel could have been the responsibility could have been carried out by low level hamas operatives, that is not authorized, not approved. and so that really confirms something that had been the suspicion of many of those watching thisoff night he watching this overnight escalation. and they were taken by surprise by the fact that tel aviv should
be targeted after a relatively quiet period along this border. when i say quiet, it is relative. there are the weekly protests friday after friday that have been going along on that fence just behind me on the border between gaza and israel. it's been a year now since those have been carrying on. we're now hearing from inside gaza that given the escalation overnight, dade's friday protests have been canceled which suggest that there is a decision, a desire perhaps another part of hamas to see this latest escalation calmed down. so those friday protests which had been planned for the time being we're hearing canceled. so the question will be whether those efforts, whether those decisions, whether that announcement will help ensure that along this border things are kept quiet over the next few hours. >> all right. melissa bell live from the border, thanks very much. also this morning, our firs
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we believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence. >> a terror attack targeting two mosques in new zealand, at least 49 dead in christchurch. three suspects in custody. north korea threatens to suspend nuclear talks with the united states, a stern warning overnight from the foreign minister. welcome back to "early start." i'm allisison kosik. >> and i'm dave briggs. we start with that breaking news, at least 49 people killed in a terror attack in new zealand. police say the mass shootings at two mosques in christchurch. nearly 50 are in the hospital and much of the city remains on
lockdown. >> it is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack. from what we know, it does appear to have been well planned. >> we are currently dealing with an unprecedented situation in new zealand. it is very grave. >> they have raised the terror threat level from low to high. officials say three people connected to the attack are in custody. police are not aware of others involved, but cannot rule out the possibility more shooters are at large. here's what an eyewitness told cnn. >> we had to jump out of the wall and still we were like hearing the sound of the guns. it continues the shooting for maybe 10 to 15 minutes. and we used the back side and then came out on the other street. and since then the police -- we called the police and i saw one
person got shot on his chest and ambulance came and the police came there. doctor was taking care of him. >> jackson williams of sky news australia is in christchurch at this hour. he joins us live on the phone. jackson, what can you tell us. >> good evening from christchurch. i've arrived here in the city in the past two hours. currently outside the christchurch hospital. inside just under 50 people, 48 people being treated for gunshot wounds. around 20 of those people have very serious injuries. as it currently stands, the death toll is at 49. that was revised in the past hour. earlier we were told it was 40. but tragically sadly it has been revised, the death toll currently sitting at 49. 41 of those people were killed
at one mosque very close to christchurch's city center. the others killed across town on the other side of christchurch in lynnwood and one person died in hospital from their injuries. officials told me that as i say 48 people are currently being treated for their gunshot wounds, 12 operating theaters are currently in use. given the magnitude of this event, described as unprecedented by the new zealand prime minister jacinda ardern. as you can imagine the health authorities here have their resources stretched to the limit. this is such a tragedy. it goes without saying that for all new zealanders, 49 people confirmed dead, that could sadly rise. and the prime minister has
described the day as a very dark day for new zealand. >> indeed new zealand's darkest day. jackson williams, sky news reporter, we'll check back with you with any updates. let's go now to anna coren who is live in hong kong, she's been following this sorry. what can you tell us about this video posted online on facebook streaming this deadly mass shooting? >> reporter: it is one of the most gruesome things that i've ever seen, dave. it goes for some 17 minutes. the gunman, an australian citizen in his late 20s, had a camera strapped to his helmet. he drives to the mosque. he gets out of his car. he picks up several automatic weapons. he walks into the mosque through the gates, starts firing at people standing outside, walks in those front doors and just mows down every single person in
his path. you can hear the people screaming, moaning, crying out for help. he reloads in a corridor, walks back out and his killing spree continues. he is methodical, he is calculated, he is extremely calm. it wasn't an urgency. there was no panic from what you could see in the way that he moved. he then walked outside the mosque on the pavement, starts firing in either direction at people who have obviously come out after hearing the rapid gunfire. he reloads at his car, walks back inside the mosque and continues his massacre. there were bodies lying everywhere. dozens of bodies lying everywhere. and he walks up to those bodies and at point blank range executes each and every one of them. he then walks out, sees a woman on the pavement, he shoots her, walks up, fires at her head.
and then gets in to his car, drives off. he is firing out the wind screen, firing out the passenger window. this is the behavior obviously of a mad man, deranged man, yet he is talking normally. he laughs at one point. and then he reaches a pedestrian crossing and stops, allowing these pedestrians to walk across the road. we presume he is then driven to the second mosque. the killing spree lasts six minutes in total. the video that was streamed live on facebook went for 17 minutes. the new zealand prime minister jacinda ardern has asked that this video not be shared, not be shown. police have reinforced this. because it obviously is so gruesome, so graphic. not something that people want to see and also not a message that they want to be spread. >> anna coren live for us in hong kong.
anna is from australia, but she told us earlier having spent a lot of time in new zealand, it is one of the most peaceful and welcoming countries in the world. and i can say the same thing. i spent several weeks there. nicest people you will ever meet, that country will never be the same. anna, thanks so much for your insight. >> a country where it is rare to have gun violence. let's bring in lauin law enforcement analyst, james galliano. they are calling this a terror attack. >> that was unique. the prime minister jacinda ardern says with no equivocation, this is a terrorist attack. why is that important? we're always very careful about assigning motive to the crime. but they had enough evidence. they had an 87 page manifesto, the have i i don' video, the gunman's own words. terrorism is violence or
intimidation in pursuit of political or social goals. and obviously if you go through as we talked earlier, that 87 pages, plenty of politics in there. so that is why it is being called terrorism. it is important to note too that new zealand is one of the five eyes, united states, united kingdom, australia, new zealand and canada, five english speaking countries that share this type of information. military information interrelated to terrorism and the like. so i'm sure that we've been talking to them and trying to figure out is this a localized plot or something that is broader. >> or was there any chatter before this happened. >> most importantly here, are there any other further follow-on attacks. it is important to note last week i spoke to a senior fbi official at fbi headquarters who said that currently right now in the u.s. we have 5,000 open terrorism investigations. i'm sure across europe probably similar numbers. >> the investigation clearly goes to this manifester er tom.
talked about an attack planned two years in advance. it has a mention of president trump, a mechanics of candace owens a trump supporter, a mention of being inspired by fortnite the video game that so many millions play and a lot of references to the united states and our second amendment. but again, we cannot confirm that it was of the shooter, but there were links to this facebook stream of the killing. what can you tell us from watching that disturbing video the type of ideology here? >> the level of depravity and inhumanity. i've seen a lot of things of 25 years in the fbi, but the level of inhumanity, it was such an anti septic manner of just -- and describe d earlier as a mad man. no other way that psychopath could walk in and just execute
people. make no mmisno mistake, 59 peop were executed. and that death toll could climb. there are a number of people in the hospital. >> 49 people killed. it is chilling when you hear anna coren describe the video. he was calm, calculated. and he even laughed during this execution. let's talk about the gun laws in new zealand. in all of 2017, there were just 35 murders countrywide, gun violence is rare. talk to us about the gun laws in new zealand. >> 35 murders, but less double digits in murders by guns there. so we know that new zealand is a country of 4.6 million people. there is an estimate of about 1.2 million guns there. so one gun for every four people there. in the wake of a 1990 mass shooting in new zealand, 13 people were killed and they tightened up some of their gun laws. but it is obviously much more lax than new zealand as most countries are, but it is also one of the most permissive
nonu.s. countries in the world. >> but tighter than ours. >> tighter than ours. you you have to be over the age of 16, you must be licensed, you don't need to register the weapon, but you must be licensed. you have to have a criminal history background check, mental health review, attend a safety program, you have to give authorities an explanation of how the gun is to be used. your residence must be visited by authorities to make sure that you have a secure storage facility there. you have to get testimonials from friends and associates. that is more than we have here. so i mean, in that sense yes, but to your point, 35 homicides there last year. and again, i think three years ago there were 11. but most of the time it is in single digits by gun violence. >> a day like this can and will undoubtedly change everything as we know it in new zealand. needless to say though, they are not all that familiar with terrorism, counter terrorism. do they seek u.s. help on an investigation like this and where does it go right now? >> they have to. again, we do a lot of
intelligence sharing with those other four countries. it will be very important getting out in front of this. was it a plot that was localized or part of a broader or bigger terrorist profile. >> a lot of questions. jimmy, thanks. breaking overnight, north korea announcing it may suspend nuclear talks with the united states. the largest fallout so far from last month's fallout -- failed hanoi summit. let's go live to seoul and bring in paula hancocks. what are you concerning? >> reporter: well, this was a press believing effectively to those reporters in pyongyang by the vice foreign minister. she said that kimt jung-un is trying to figure out if he wants to continue diplomatic talks with the united states and if he is going to keep the moratorium on testing of nuclear tests and missile weapons. now, we know that the u.s. president after the hanoi summit
had said that kim jung-un gave his guarantee he wouldn't be doing nuclear missile testing. so the fact that this has come up now is quite interesting. one thing she did say was, quote, we have no intention to yield to the u.s. demands put forward at the hanoi summit in any form nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind. once again she did point out as well that even though mr. trump said that they were asking for all sanctions to be lifted, they say that is not true, that they were only on asking for ones related to the people of north korea. she also went on to say that the u.s. were too busy with pursuing their own political interests and had no sincere intention to achieve a result. so this is really out of the playbook of north korea, putting pressure on the united states on the other side. interestingly though, they are not actually pointing out mr. trump as being at fault saying that there is still a good relationship between the leader of north korea and the united states, pointing out that john bolton national security adviser
and the u.s. secretary of state were more to blame. >> certainly running counter to the optimism from the u.s. on how talks were going. paula hancocks, thanks so much. >> again that mention to the chemistry of kim jung-un and president trump described as mysteriously wonderful. we have breaking news in new zealand and north korea. middle east. and new information on the ethiopian airlines crash and much more. stay with us. that we have been getting. being a usaa member, because of my service in the military, you pass that on to my kids. something that makes me happy. being able to pass down usaa to my girls means a lot to both of us. he's passing part of his heritage of being in the military. we're the edsons. my name is roger zapata. we're the tinch family, and we are usaa members for life. to begin your legacy, get an insurance quote today. itso chantix can help you quit "slow turkey."
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this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. the latest out of new zealand, police in the city of christchurch confirm 49 people were killed in a terror attack at two mosques. 48 more have been wounded. muslims were gathering for prayer services when a gunman walked in and systemically murdered as many as he could. police charging one 28-year-old man with murder, two others remain in custody.
two ieds were found attached to one of the attacker's cars. stay with cnn for on updates as we get them. israel retaliating overnight after rockets targeted tel aviv for the first time since the 2014 war with hamas. israel hitting targets in gaza is reporting that israel defense forces think the attack may not have been sanctioned by palestinian leaders. made wielissa bell is live for . what can you tell us? >> reporter: israeli media is suggesting that after the flare up of tensions that you talked about, there is a willingness on all sides to see a deescalation along this border just behind me. on one hand we're hearing from inside gaza that the weekly friday protests have now been canceled, they have been going on for a year now.
given what happened overnight. and we've also been speaking to a spokesman for islamic geed had, one of the groups that functions inside gaza suggesting that perhaps it was time that -- that there should be some sort of deescalation to what had happened over the course of the last 24 hours. i think everyone was really taken by surprise by the fact that the rockets should have made their way to tell a veef, not intercepted by the iron dome system, but no casualties at all. some surprise really that they should have come as quickly as they did when nobody really expected at this stage of flaring up of the tensions along this particular border. so on all sides we are hearing that we're getting a sense that perhaps everyone is looking to put the lid back on this and really keep this flare up from becoming anymore serious than it has been already.
>> all right, thanks, melissa. our first glimpse this morning of the final moments in the cockpit of the doomed ethiopian airlines jet that crashed on sunday killing all 157 people on board. the "new york times" reports the captain called controllers in a panicky voice three minutes into the flight. as the plane accelerated to abnormal speed. >> someone who reviewed air traffic communications tells the times i go on t"times" the canc break, request back to home. it was plunging hundreds of feet in just seconds. today is veto day at the white house. president trump expected to hold a public ceremony to mark the first veto of his pld ciresiden after suffering a humiliating defeat in the republican controlled senate. 12 members of his own party joining democrats to reject the
national declaration for border wall funding. president trump responding quickly to the vote with a one word tweet, veto. if the current totals hold, there will not be enough votes to rioverride the president. let's bring in our cnn political analyst. good to see you. 12 republicans, a stunning rebuke, but arguably could have been a lot higher if tom tihom s and ted cruz and ben sasse, could have been 15 or 16. but what does this rebuke mean for the president's national emergency? >> it means basically that you've seen now play out in real time in an actual vote the frustration that exists in the gop about the way that trump is approaching border security and has been for a long time. there has never been complete support for his strategy of prioritizing the wall. and yes i know we've heard various descriptions of what it actually is as this debate has been playing out. but the gop has never been fully
behind what the president wanted to do and yet when push came to shove, not everybody who had been very critical of this kind of you power grab, of the authority to be able to divert funds away from congress, this is kind of the most sacred power that the legislative branch has. and they didn't fight back in as large numbers as you might have expected listening to the way that members of the gop were talking about this being an overreach. it is also interesting that of the 12 who voted against the president, only on one of them is up for re-election in 2020 and that is susan collins who has often broken with what the president wants to do anyhow in the past. so that tells you maybe a little something about what the competing motivations are. trump still wields a lot of power in the gop even if people don't like what the policy issues are that he espouses. >> could come back to haunt cory gardner up for re-election. and thom tillis also up for re-election. perhaps that is why he shifted.
it now goes to the courts and you wonder how much the words of the president saying i can do the wall over a longer period of time. i didn't need to do this. you wonder if knows words come back to haunt him. >> let's talk about north korea. we have kim jung-un considering suspending talks with the u.s. >> according to his foreign minister. >> rethinking a ban on missile tests. this despite all the optimism coming from the u.s. so with all the talk about trump and kim jung-un being buddies, was it much ado about nothing? >> you see that the situation is not that great coming from both sides. both of these leaders, you know, have egos. and the relationship between the two of them is what they have built this entire process on. they actually had the summit before the ground work was at the point where you could shake hands on a deal. so this relationship has been critical to how they have actually tried to sell the
potential of there being a deal around north korea's nuclear weapons. but interesting that you see this sort of play right now. it's been a while since the summit and now the north koreans are saying, yeah, we might do all these drastic steps. i mean that seems like it is a push to force the united states to make greater concessions or more forcibly back to the negotiating table. the north koreans were the ones left behind in hanoi. so it seems like a calculated move to saberrattle and get the united states to move closer to their position or give kim the same opportunity that they have twice before in the original summits that did buoy his negotiating position and his position at home with his people. >> and interesting to see them stroke the president and talk about the wonderful chemistry between kim jung-un and donald trump. a lot to cover. we await reaction from the president on both north korea and of course the shooting in new zealand.
thanks. thanks for joining us. i'm alison kosik. >> and i'm dave briggs. "new day" has breaking news coverage continuing. [farmers bell] (driver) relax, it's just a bug. that's not a bug, that's not a bug! (burke) hit and drone. seen it, covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ - [woman] with shark's duo clean, i don't just clean, ♪ i deep clean carpets and floors, so i got this.
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this happened at christ church as muslims were gathering for friday prayers. the details are developing. some murky at this hour. one person has been charged with murder, three other people are in custody. >> we have this manifesto that the gunman is supposed to have posted on social media. parts of the attack were shown live on social media. authorities are urging muslims in knew znew zealand to stay awm places of worship. the prime minister is condemning the attack saying the extremist views have no place in new zealand or the world. let's go live to hong kong with all of the breaking details. what do we know that the hour, anna? >> reporter: alisyn, as you say, 49 people have been confirmed dead but that death toll could very well rise. there are dozens more who have been seriously injured. they're suffering gunshot wounds.