Mark Baker | AP Photo

Ambulances parked outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.

At least one shooter opened fire at at least one mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, killing several.

New Zealand Police confirmed the incident, saying that a “serious and evolving situation” is occurring with an active shooter. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement that authorities had taken one person into custody but the police believe “there may be other offenders.”

“This is an evolving incident and we are working to confirm the facts, however we can confirm there have been a number of fatalities,” Bush said.

The commissioner said police were at multiple scenes and local media reported that the shooting incident had affected two mosques. “We ask all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice,” Bush said.

An official notice also recommended that “residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.”

The Bangladesh cricket team was in the vicinity of the shooting but all members were safe, a team coach told media.

Radio New Zealand quoted a witness inside the mosque saying he heard shots fired and at least four people were lying on the ground and “there was blood everywhere.”

“Horrified to hear of Christchurch mosque shootings. There is never a justification for that sort of hatred,” said Amy Adams, a member of parliament from Christchurch.

The Bangladesh cricket team is in Christchurch to play New Zealand in a third cricket test starting on Saturday.

Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying that the team was close to where the shooting occurred, but was safe.

“The players are shaken up but fine,” Villavarayen was quoted as saying.

—Reuters contributed to this report.



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