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One of NZ's 'Darkest Days': 2 Fatal Mosque Shootings

Multiple casualties are reported
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2019 10:13 PM CDT
Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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(Newser)

This is "one of New Zealand's darkest days," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of fatal shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. Police said there were multiple fatalities and one person was in custody, but no details were immediately available, per the AP. "What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," said Ardern. In the first shooting, a man who lives next door to the Masjid Al Noor mosque said multiple people were killed. Len Peneha said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in Peneha's driveway, and fled.

Peneha then went into the mosque to try and help. "I saw dead people everywhere," he said. "There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque." He said the gunman was white and was wearing a helmet with some kind of device on top, giving him a military-type appearance. Police were urging people to remain indoors in Christchurch until the situation was resolved. New Zealand historically has had only a handful of mass shootings events.

(Read more mass shootings stories.)

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