Witnesses describe moment gunman open fired in New Zealand mosque

Witnesses have described the horrifying moment an Australian gunman opened fire in a New Zealand mosque, killing at least 30 people. 

The shooter, who identified himself on Twitter as ‘Brenton Tarrant’ from Grafton, New South Wales, stormed into Masjid Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time, gunning down dozens while hundreds of worshipers took part in Friday prayer. 

‘The guy was wearing like an army [suit]. He had a big gun and lots of bullets. He came through and started shooting everyone in the mosque, everywhere,’ Ahmad Al-Mahmoud told Stuff.

‘They had to smash the door – the glass from the window and the door – to get everyone out.

‘We were trying to get everyone to run away from this area. I ran away from the car park, jumping through the back [yard] of houses.’

Al-Mahmoud said the man was ‘wearing a helmet’ and must have fired ‘hundreds’ of gunshots. 

Another survivor, identified only as Nour, told the New Zealand Herald the gunman shot multiple worshipers outside before carrying out his rampage inside the mosque where he shot people indiscriminately. 

A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself (pictured) gunning down dozens of worshippers as he stormed through a mosque

A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself (pictured) gunning down dozens of worshippers as he stormed through a mosque

A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself (pictured) gunning down dozens of worshippers as he stormed through a mosque 

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter’s weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The alleged gunman taking for his Facebook livestream before the Christchurch mosque shooting

The alleged gunman taking for his Facebook livestream before the Christchurch mosque shooting

The alleged gunman taking for his Facebook livestream before the Christchurch mosque shooting

Three shootings have taken place in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, two at mosques and another at Christchurch Hospital

Three shootings have taken place in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, two at mosques and another at Christchurch Hospital

Three shootings have taken place in Christchurch on Friday afternoon, two at mosques and another at Christchurch Hospital

A terrorist who opened fire on a New Zealand mosque published an online manifesto detailing his plans to carry out a massacre hours before the attack

A terrorist who opened fire on a New Zealand mosque published an online manifesto detailing his plans to carry out a massacre hours before the attack

The 87-page document, which he called 'The Great Replacement', was published on the morning before Brenton Tarrant opened fire inside the Al Noor Mostque in Christchurch

The 87-page document, which he called 'The Great Replacement', was published on the morning before Brenton Tarrant opened fire inside the Al Noor Mostque in Christchurch

A terrorist who opened fire on a New Zealand mosque published an online manifesto detailing his plans to carry out a massacre hours before the attack

‘I saw people drop dead in front of me. I was crawling to get away,’ he said. ‘It was hitting the walls.’ 

Nour said he was able to flee the carnage by jumping through a broken window. 

Police said four people are now in custody, including three men and one woman. One of them was arrested while wearing a suicide vest. 

In a livestream video, shot by the gunman himself, he is seen in his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying ‘let’s get this party started’.  

In an 87-page manifesto he posted Twitter before the killings, he described the shooting as a ‘terrorist attack’.

He then drove to the mosque listening to folk music and military tunes before parking in an alley around the corner.     

After retrieving one of at least six guns stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing. 

Mohan Ibrahim was inside the mosque and said he thought the sound of the shots was ‘an electric shock’ until he saw everyone running. 

He said is ‘scared’ for his friends, many of which were still inside.

‘I still have friends inside. I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven’t heard from,’ he said. 

There have also been reports of another shooting by at the  nearby Linwood Masjid mosque. 

The gunman was said to have had ‘a lot magazines’ strapped to his legs.

After retrieving one of at least six assault rifles stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing at the first person he saw

After retrieving one of at least six assault rifles stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing at the first person he saw

After retrieving one of at least six assault rifles stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing at the first person he saw

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Shooters rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying 'let's get this party started'

Shooters rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying 'let's get this party started'

Shooters rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying ‘let’s get this party started’

A man dressed in 'army' gear entered Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time opening fire while hundreds of people were taking part in Friday prayer

A man dressed in 'army' gear entered Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time opening fire while hundreds of people were taking part in Friday prayer

A man dressed in ‘army’ gear entered Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time opening fire while hundreds of people were taking part in Friday prayer 

Several people have reportedly been killed, with a dead body seen near Al Noor Mosque (interior pictured). The mosque is said to have a capacity of 300 people

Several people have reportedly been killed, with a dead body seen near Al Noor Mosque (interior pictured). The mosque is said to have a capacity of 300 people

Several people have reportedly been killed, with a dead body seen near Al Noor Mosque (interior pictured). The mosque is said to have a capacity of 300 people 

A Christchurch man told the news outlet he was awoken by the sound of ’20-40′ gunshots followed by a man with a bullet wound who had ran into his home to take shelter.  

‘I had to deal with that really quickly considering I just woke up,’ Zinzan Hawke told the Herald. He said he was able to hear the shots from 5km away. 

Hawke said he and his three roommates called the ambulance while they tried to treat the seven-centimeter wound on the Muslim man’s leg by applying pressure.   

‘He didn’t see the armed gunman but he heard bullets ringing around, one had just missed his stomach area. He would have had a far more serious injury in that case,’ Hawke said the man told him. 

Another witness said he ran behind the mosque to call the police after hearing the gun go off. 

‘I heard the sound of the gun. And the second one I heard, I ran. Lots of people were sitting on the floor. I ran behind the mosque, rang the police,’ the man told Stuff. 

‘I saw one gun on the floor. Lots of people died and injured.’  

One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened at 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway

One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened at 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway

One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened at 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway

Authorities have not released a confirmed number of deaths, but witnesses say the death toll can be over a dozen. Above ambulance staff are seen taking a man from outside the mosque

Authorities have not released a confirmed number of deaths, but witnesses say the death toll can be over a dozen. Above ambulance staff are seen taking a man from outside the mosque

Authorities have not released a confirmed number of deaths, but witnesses say the death toll can be over a dozen. Above ambulance staff are seen taking a man from outside the mosque 

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as ‘critical’. 

One man inside the mosque at the time of the shooting said there ‘bodies all over me’. 

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. Many people were killed in a mass shooting but there is still no confirmed number of deaths

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. Many people were killed in a mass shooting but there is still no confirmed number of deaths

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. Many people were killed in a mass shooting but there is still no confirmed number of deaths

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath.

‘My wife is dead,’ he said while wailing. 

The shooter said he was inspired by other shooters including Anders Breivik who killed 77 people in Oslo, Norway in 2011.

He said he ‘disliked’ Muslims and hated those who had converted to the religion, calling them ‘blood traitors’.

The shooter said he originally wanted to target a mosque in Dunedin, south of Christchurch, after watching a video on Facebook.

‘But after visiting the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood and seeing the desecration of the church that had been converted to a mosque in Ashburton, my plans changed,’ he wrote.

‘The Christchurch and Linwood mosques had far more invaders.’

The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people. The total number of deaths has not been confirmed. 

The Bangladesh cricket team – who are currently on tour in New Zealand – were inside the mosque praying at the time of the shooting and were forced to flee for their lives, ESPN reported.  

Link hienalouca.com

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