Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush
Police continue to respond to an ongoing serious and tragic firearms incident in Christchurch.
The incident remains fluid and information is still coming to hand.
We can confirm that Police have been dealing with two shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, one at Deans Avenue and one at Linwood Avenue. Those locations remain locked down.
We can confirm there have been a number of fatalities. We cannot at this stage confirm the precise number but it is significant.
So far, four people, three men and a woman, have been taken into custody after being apprehended by Police. We are speaking with those people.
Police are still treating this incident as ongoing and Christchurch residents are strongly urged to stay indoors and keep safe, and monitor the Police website and social media for further information. We continue to utilise every possible resource to resolve the situation.
Police work with a number of agencies in preparation for events of this nature and we have plans and procedures in place which we are following. We are receiving assistance from NZDF, Ambulance, Fire and Emergency NZ, and wider Government.
At this stage we will not be discussing the offenders’ possible motivations or the causes of this incident.
We have asked all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.
The lock down of schools through Christchurch has been lifted.
We thank the public for their ongoing cooperation at this very serious time.
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.
We will provide further information as we are able.
Issued by Police Media