As New Zealand Comes to Terms With Mosque Shootings, Here's How the Terror Attack Unfolded
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence" and acknowledged many of those affected may be migrants and refugees.
- Last Updated: March 15, 2019, 14:46 IST
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Mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers killed 49 people on what the prime minister called "one of New Zealand's darkest days," as authorities detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence" and acknowledged many of those affected may be migrants and refugees. In addition to the dead, she said more than 20 people were seriously wounded.
Here is a timeline of the events that unfolded at Christchurch:
1.40pm: Attacker enters Christchurch mosque with an automatic weapon and opens fire on people inside the building.
2:11pm: Police confirm they are attending to an “evolving situation” in Christchurch after an incident near Hagley Park. Gunshots are heard outside the mosque on Deans Ave. A witness reported hearing at least 20 gunshots and saw three people on the ground
2:17pm: School lockdown in Christchurch as people begin to emerge from the mosque covered in blood
2:54pm: Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the situation is “serious and evolving” and involves an active shooter. Canterbury District Health Board activates its mass casualty plan.
3:20pm: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she is “shocked beyond words”. "I would never have expected anything like this to happen in Christchurch, I'd never expect this to happen in New Zealand," she says.
4:00pm: Police commissioner Mike Bush confirms one person is in custody but warns the people of Christchurch there may be others who pose a risk to their safety.
4:10pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks publicly, calling it "One of New Zealand's darkest days." Ardern says many of those in the mosque were likely to be migrants - but they were "us" — New Zealanders. The shooter was not, she says. She declares to the world that Christchurch incident is a “terrorist attack”.