Three men and one woman are under arrest in New Zealand following attacks on two mosques that left 49 people dead and scores injured.
The shootings, the deadliest in a country that rarely sees gun violence, took place in Christchurch, the country’s third largest city.
Here is what we know so far about the shooters:
- Police have taken four people into custody in connection with the shootings – three men and one woman. According to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush, one man has been charged with murder, two other people remained in custody and the other — who was armed at the scene — may not have had anything to do with the attack, Bush said.
- According to Bush, 41 people died at the Masjid al-Noor mosque and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. One more person died later at a local hospital.
- The shootings took place about three miles from each other.
- The attack happened at the mosques as celebrants were in midday Friday prayer. First reports of the shooting came into law enforcement authorities around 1:40 p.m. New Zealand time. New Zealand is 17 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone.
- An 87-page anti-immigrant manifesto appeared online minutes before the shooting started, allegedly written by the man who claimed responsibility for the shooting.
- In the Twitter post, the author of the manifesto says he is 28 and was born in Australia. He said in the document that he chose to use guns in the attacks to stir discord in the United States around the Second Amendment.
- He described his hatred toward Muslims and immigrants.
- He says he supports President Donald Trump, but not as a “policy maker and leader.”
- A video that appeared on Facebook and Instagram allegedly showed the attack live-streamed as it happened. According to a spokesperson for Facebook New Zealand, the social media company was alerted of the video by New Zealand police. The disturbing video was taken off the sites.
- According to those who have seen the video, it appears to have been shot from the shooter’s helmet and shows the gunman driving to the mosque, entering the building and opening fire on those in the building.
- The video lasts 17 minutes.
- The gunman fired his weapon for nearly two minutes before he left the mosque to return to his car and reload the gun. He returned to the building, moving room to room methodically shooting those fleeing for their lives. The shooter leaves the mosque and drives away in a beige Subaru station wagon. “There wasn’t even time to aim, there was so many targets,” the shooter says at one point in the video.
- New Zealand police have urged people not to share the video.
New Zealand Police confirmed the death toll in the Christchurch mosque shootings has risen to 49 and one person has been charged with murder. https://t.co/m3sQVK0iiR— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) March 15, 2019
- According to Mia Garlick, a Facebook spokesperson, Facebook is “… also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”
- The video showed weapons covered with the names of those who have carried out mass shootings.
- New Zealand police said the gunman was armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
- Two improvised explosive devices were found on a nearby vehicle. Police have not yet said if they were connected to the account.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.