[NBC]Dozens of worshippers were killed after mass shootings during Friday prayers at two mosques in New Zealand.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush told a 4 a.m. ET press conference that 49 people were dead with many others injured. A 28-year-old man was charged with murder.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”
Ardern described the incident as a terrorist attack, adding that it appeared to have been well-planned.
“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world,” she said.
Officers responded to reports of shots fired around 1:40 p.m. Friday (8:40 p.m. ET Thursday) in Christchurch, a city of around 375,000 people.
Bush said that four people — three men and a woman — had initially been detained, but it remained unclear whether all of them were involved.
Police sources told NBC News’ Australian partner Channel 7 that the main suspect’s name is Brenton Tarrant. Some of the attack was streamed on his Facebook account.
According to Bush, “a number of IEDs attached to vehicles” were found. He said firearms had been recovered from both scenes.
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