At least 40 people have been killed and no fewer than 20 injured, after shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four people have been taken into custody — three men and one woman — though police cannot assume that there are not other suspects at large.
The shootings occurred at the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and Linwood Masjid in Linwood, both in Christchurch’s city center.
Police also said explosive devices were found on their vehicles.
Anti-Muslim manifesto found:
An account believed to belong to one of the attackers featured a link to an 87-page manifesto filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations prior to the attack.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has described the attack as an “unprecedented act of violence.”
A witness who did not want to be named told CNN that he smashed a window inside the mosque to escape.
He said he was in the bathroom when multiple people began shooting.
“I turned to open the door to the toilet and they started firing and I said ‘what was going on’ and they just keep firing and firing,” he said.
“I smash the window and the firing just keep going,” he said.
Another witness told CNN that he prayed that the gunman would “run out of bullets.”
“I was thinking that he must run out bullets you know, so what I did was basically waiting and praying to God, oh God please let this guy run out of bullets,” he said.
He said a man told him to remain still when the gunman shot the man “straight in the chest.”