New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden said the Australian gunman who opened fire at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch has "no place" in the country during an emotional address following one of the small nation's "darkest days".
"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," Arden confirmed during her statement.
"Whilst 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."
Earlier this afternoon, the alleged gunman live-streamed himself opening fire at two mosques in the NZ city, and also posted a 73-page manifesto online listing his reasons for the terror attack. Describing himself as "just a regular white man" he identified himself as ‘Brenton Tarrant’ from Australia on Twitter. The gunman carried out the attack to “directly reduce immigration rates to European lands.”
He who joins two other males and a woman in custody - live-streamed his deadly attack and turned the camera on himself before carrying out the shootings.
According to developing reports, there are up to 49 fatalities and at least 40 injuries as Christchurch hospital has gone into lockdown. One witness reported seeing the body of a five-year-old boy inside one of the buildings reports NewsCorp.
A New Zealand Herald reporter was told by witnesses Tarrant left the mosque after the shooting and “actively” pursued a child down the street. That child is believed to be dead.
In addition to the two crime scenes at the Al Noor and Linwood city mosques, a third crime scene has reportedly been established on Strickland St, where police found an unexploded car bomb.
This is a developing story.