Horrific eyewitness stories paint a disturbing picture of the behaviour of a gunman who burst into a mosque in Christchurch and killed as many people as possible.
It’s still unclear how many people have been killed in sickening mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques, but those who saw what happened, say there was blood “everywhere” and described the gunman’s cold demeanour in chilling detail.
There are reports of multiple dead and at least 50 injured with emergency service vehicles still at Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and Linwood Masjid mosque.
One person who saw the shooting at the Al Noor Mosque described on Radio New Zealand what happened when the gunman entered the gates.
A former president of the mosque said a short man, wearing a helmet with his face covered entered the mosque.
He said the gunman was carrying a M16 or assault rifle with white writing on the barrel.
He asked the gunman “what are you doing?”, but added that “the man did not say a word”.
The gunman then opened fire at people as they took their shoes off at the mosque’s entrance.
He said five people were killed, including a five-year-old boy. He said the shooting lasted for about 20 minutes.
The eyewitness said about 300 people were in the mosque at the time. He said people tried to find places to hide and about 30 to 50 people were lying on the ground.
“Bullets were all around the shooter as he shot,” the witness said.
One man at the same mosque told The Sydney Morning Herald he saw children being shot and added, “there were bodies all over me”.
The newspaper reported that one man escaped, only to see his wife lying dead on the footpath.
Another witness at Al Noor Mosque with blood splatters across his shirt told AAP the shooter changed magazines seven times after opening fire as the crowd gathered to pray ran for the door.
“He went to all the different (rooms) and he shot everyone,” he said, saying he had laid under a bench to pretend he was dead.
Other witnesses described seeing several people covered in blood.
Several hundred people were inside and witnesses reported seeing at least four people on the ground and “blood everywhere”, according to Radio New Zealand.
Another man at the scene said it was chaotic, with as many as 40 people injured.
“I heard a big sound of the gun. And a second one, I ran. Lots of people were sitting on the floor. I ran behind the mosque,” he told TVNZ.
“The floor. There’s lots of blood on the floor, you can see when you go in.”
The man, who did not give his name, said he saw four people including a woman on the floor but did not see the shooter.
Christchurch schools, the hospital and the city’s university are on lockdown and residents have been told to remain indoors and report suspicious behaviour.
The Bangladesh cricket team, in Christchurch to play New Zealand on Saturday were in the vicinity, and had been left shaken but uninjured, their coach told media.
At least one of the gunmen live streamed the shooting to social media, sharing the horrifying video to Facebook.
The chilling POV video, viewed by news.com.au and verified by Storyful, begins with a man in brown fingerless gloves driving through the streets of Christchurch towards the mosque.
— with wires