Death toll rises to 49, 1 suspect charged with murder.
4:19 a.m.: Police commissioner Mike Bush said the death toll has increased to 49 people, with 41 people being killed at one mosque and seven at the other. An additional person died at the hospital.
A man in his late 20s has been charged with murder. One of the people in custody had been taken into custody at the scene with a firearm, but Bush said that person “may have had nothing to do with this incident.” Officials are still working out the involvement of the other two people in custody.
There was no agency information about any of the suspects, Bush said.
Bush said they are not actively looking for any other people. Bush said it would “not be proper” to comment on how one suspect could have carried out two shootings.
“This was a very well-planned event,” Bush said.
It had been reported earlier that two vehicles were found with IEDs attached, but Bush said it has been revised to one vehicle with two IEDs attached.
3:49 a.m.: Parents of a 35-year-old son was worshpping at the mosque on Friday afternoon told TV 3 New Zealand they had not heard from him. “I don’t know if he’s still alive or dead … we’ve been waiting and waiting and no news, so we came here to see if he’s inside the mosque dead. I just want to know any news about him,” the mother said.
The parents said they moved from Iraq to Christchurch 22 years ago to come to a safer country. They said he goes to the mosque every Friday.
48 people being treated at Christchurch Hospital
2:51 a.m.: Forty-eight people, ranging from young children to adults, are being treated for gunshot wounds at Christchurch Hospital, according to David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board. Around 200 family members are on site awaiting news of their family members.
“Once we have provided for the medical needs of those injured, and the wellbeing of their families and whanau, we will be able to focus on the psychosocial wellbeing of our wider Canterbury community,” Meates said in a statement.
40 people are dead, dozens injured, Prime Minister says
2:36 a.m.: There are 40 people who were killed in the two mosque shootings, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference. Dozens more are being treated for injuries at local hospitals.
“It is clear that it can only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ardern said.
The national security threat level increased from low to high, but both domestic and international flights will continue out of the country’s airports, except for Christchurch.
Ardern said there are four people in custody, three related to the shooting. She said those three are comprised of one suspected shooter and two “associates.”
She said the suspects have “what I would call extremist views — they have no place in New Zealand or in the world.”
Ardern said she wanted to send a message to the suspects: “You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.”
The gunman referenced the 2nd Amendment in his manifesto
1:31 a.m.: In the manifesto, the gunman rhetorically asked himself why he chose to use firearms, or guns, to carry out the attack. He answered that “I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse,” adding that “with enough pressure the left wing within the united states will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the U.S. will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty.”
“The U.S. into many factions by its Second Amendment, along state, social, cultural, and most importantly, racial lines,” he said.
A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings wrote of “white genocide”
1:16 a.m.: In a manifesto that appears to have been posted around the time of the attack, a man who claimed responsibility for the shootings describes himself as an “ordinary” 28-year-old born in Australia. CBS News cannot confirm that it was actually posted by the attacker.
He says his parents are of Scottish, Irish and English descent and writes about what he calls “white genocide” driven by a “crisis of mass immigration.”
He says he carried out the attack “to show invaders that our lands will never be their lands…as long as the white man still lives.” He says “we must ensure the existence of our people, and future for white children.”