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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN International: New Zealand Shootings Coverage. Aired 10:14- 11p ET
Aired March 14, 2019 - 22:14 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
GEORGE HOWELL, ANCHOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL: I'm George Howell at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. Following breaking news this hour from New Zealand where police say they are responding to a, quote, serious firearms incident in Central Christchurch. Details are still coming into the CNN Newsroom. New Zealand network TVNZ reports the incident took place at a mosque. Here's a tweet from authorities as well. Police are currently responding to reports of shots firing at Central Christchurch at around 1:40 pm, armed police have been deployed. Police urge anyone in Central Christchurch area there to say indoors and report any suspicious behavior immediately.
And Canterbury police tweeted this. We have a critical incident in Deans Avenue Christchurch. Please avoid the area. We will give more and the near future. Again, police in New Zealand responding to shots fired in Central Christchurch. Local media report that this happened at a mosque. We will of course continue to follow the details here as we're seeing video coming into our newsroom right now there from Christchurch New Zealand. This is not live video but video we've taken in. Let's also now bring in Chris Lynch. Chris from Newstalk ZB Radio in Christchurch. Chris, what more can you tell us about what's happening there?
CHRIS LYNCH, REPORTER, NEWSTALK ZB RADIO: Hi, George. What we can confirm, the gunman has appeared to have opened fire at several mosques in the Christchurch city. At least six people are believed to have been killed and police are urging residents to stay indoors. George, to give you some perspective on what Christchurch City is like, it's a very peaceful city, population of no more than 420,000. It's situated in the south islands of New Zealand. It's not something, you know, (inaudible) it's not something that (inaudible) but what we can say is a dead body has been seen lying near the main mosque in Central Christchurch. And what we also understand is there is a second gunman that has been seen about four Ks west of the city -- sorry, east of the city at another mosque.
And just as we go there today (ph) there are reports now of a third active shooting unfolding near Christchurch hospital. I mean, this is one of the most -- this is the most serious news report I've ever had to been involved in in my career as a journalist. Just to give you some other perspective, all of Christchurch central city is now under lockdown. That is all of the entire city, including the brand new library which has only been open for several months following the earthquakes that we had here in 2011. The council building is locked down. And quite stunning in some respects is every school in Christchurch City has been placed in lockdown and this is not a precautionary measure.
Police have grave concerns for the wellbeing of staff (ph) and safety. It is also interesting to note, too, that the Bangladeshi team are here playing cricket at the moment with the New Zealand side. We understand some of those members were inside the mosque as it happened, so you have to say this is a coordinated attack to get maximum international exposure.
HOWELL: OK. A lot of information there. Just want to recap what we know at this point, Chris. Stand by one second, but again, we understand, this according to TVNZ reports that the incident took place at a mosque, authorities tweeting that police are currently responding to reports of shots fired in Central Christchurch. Chris, you pointed out a third active shooting. I just want to make sure, you know, we understand that is something that we will be checking out here in our newsroom as well. Not something we've confirmed at this point but I would like to get a sense from you of what was happening at the time there.
So we understand near a mosque according to local media reports. Were there a lot of people out and about at this time? Set the scene for us.
LYNCH: Yes, there -- there would have been because this mosques is -- is one of the most popular. In fact, it's the biggest mosque in all of Christchurch -- in metropolitan Christchurch, if you like. Its a very peaceful mosque. George, it's the kind of mosque that (inaudible) can be seen and -- and -- or some of these types of mosques can be seen (inaudible). Every year the mosque opens its doors to the public (inaudible) go through and the public go through. It's a very, very peaceful mosque to say -- to say the least. And what I understand is they were doing one of their major Friday (ph) prayer or going through one of their major Friday (ph) prayers at the mosque when this -- this -- this attack took place.
So all I can say (inaudible) which is just -- well, it's in Central Christchurch. It's near one of our biggest parks, Hagley Park as well, so this is effecting all of Christchurch because of course the main four areas (ph) of our city run right through (inaudible). Look, an eyewitness report told our -- our -- our newspaper here that we run that they saw a child lying in the middle of Deans Ave and another man told our -- our -- our sister newspaper that his relative was shot inside the mosque.
HOWELL: Chris Lynch on the phone with us from Newstalk ZB Radio in Christchurch, New Zealand. Again, this is where investigators -- authorities are saying they are looking into a serious firearm -- firearms incident in Central Christchurch. Chris, if you will come back in with us, give us a sense of what authorities are doing, because we do understand, as you have also indicated, many parts of that city have been such down as precaution. LYNCH: Indeed they have. In fact, it's probably fair to say, George,
that every retail shop, every business in not just Central Christchurch but all of Christchurch is under lockdown because -- to give you some perspective, there are three mosques that are situated sort of or dotted (ph) all across the city. And so the streets -- and there's literally nobody on the streets at the moment, in fact, you know (inaudible) lockdown as well. So as I say, you know, a city of 420,000, not a massive city, a very peaceful city. It's not a metropolitan hustle and bustle city because we're still of course getting over the 2011 earthquakes which brought all the skyscraper buildings -- well not skyscraper (ph) building, but tall buildings to its knees.
So it's -- it's still very much a city that is in recovery and I think that's one reason why people are scared. Got to tell you, George, I'm sitting here talking to you in the Newstalk ZB studio. I feel scared for the first time in my career as a journalist in, you know, 15 years.
HOWELL: It's understandable, Chris. It is, you know, certainly a terrifying situation. The details that we're learning here. I want to get a sense from you, when we talk about weapons, firearms Australia, you know, certainly has, you know, cracked down, you could say, or made sure there's control over firearms in that country. What is the situation in New Zealand on the same topic?
LYNCH: Well we've had absolutely no mass shootings in New Zealand history apart from one in the '80s. Gun control here is very, very strong. You don't see residents with guns. It's not the norm like it perhaps is in America. People just aren't interested in guns here. Sure, we have a huge hunting culture here in New Zealand but the likes of firearms is just not something that is normal to us. In fact, it's very alien, much like Australia in that respect, so I guess that's why this is deemed as -- as perhaps even more of a -- more of a shot -- more of a -- sorry, more of shock, really.
But also, I mean, to give you some other perspective, say there is a police shooting every now and then on the news. It is big news here because it's not the norm. And I think that's what's important to say. So to hear that we've got, you know, several gunmen potentially on the loose in Christchurch in mosques is -- is -- is shocking. Absolutely shocking.
HOWELL: Chris Lynch on the phone with us. Chris, I want you to stand by as we recap for our viewers around the world with what's happening there in your city. Again, this is the breaking news we're following. Police say they're responding to a, quote, serious firearms incident in Central Christchurch. You see the map here to get a sense of where we're talking about. The details still coming into this newsroom, but according to TVNZ reports, the incident took place near a mosque. Police asking people in the Central Christchurch area to avoid that area, to -- to stay indoors, of course the city they're saying on lockdown. Again, let's now bring in Chris Lynch.
Chris has been sharing some other details and these, according to Newstalk ZB Radio. CNN of course also looking into the information that Chris is sharing. But Chris, again, tell our viewers what you have learned, what you're seeing there on the ground.
LYNCH: Well what we can confirm is gunmen have opened fire at mosques in Christchurch. We understand six people have believed to have been killed and police are urging residents across Christchurch to stay indoors. We're a city of about 420,000. This is unprecedented in terms of what you would think. We are not a big city. We are very peaceful city, but this has happened. We have reports coming in suggesting a dead body has been seen lying near the main mosque in Central Christchurch. A second gunman has been seen in another mosque about four Ks east of this mosque. There are reports of a third active shooter.
And most -- in fact, all of central Christchurch is now placed in lockdown, that's including the Christchurch public hospital, the library, the council building and all schools across the city are in lockdown and the message from police really is that the parents have children they want to be (ph) picking up. In fact, as we go (ph) --
HOWELL: OK, Chris Lynch, I think -- I'm not sure if we lost you. Are you still with us? Well again, just to go over the information that we heard from Chris -- and again, this is information we will be looking to confirm here at CNN, but since it's been shared here over the air -- Chris saying a dead body seen near a mosque, Chris also saying a second gunman at another mosque, and Chris saying reports of a third active shooter. Again, these are things that we are looking into to confirm here on CNN but that information coming to us, again, from Chris Lynch from Newstalk ZB Radio in Christchurch.
I believe that we may have another guest -- we do not have another guest at this point, so I'll just recap you on what we know at this point as we look to bring the guest in. The breaking news we're following. You're looking at these images coming in from Christchurch, New Zealand. Police say they are responding to a serious firearms incident in Central Christchurch and many parts of that city have been locked down. This map again showing you where in the world we're talking about this incident that took place. Details coming into the newsroom from New Zealand network TVNZ, reporting that the incident took place at a mosque.
You see Deans Avenue, that's certainly a point of focus in this investigation. And here's a tweet from authorities, this one coming from New Zealand police, saying, police are currently responding to reports of shots fired in Central Christchurch at 1:40 pm. Again, that's just about an hour ago. Armed police have been deployed. Police urge anyone in Central Christchurch to stay indoors and to report any suspicious behavior immediately. Another tweet that we're getting now from Canterbury Police just coming in, just a short time ago as well, "We have a critical incident in the Deans Avenue Christchurch." You saw on the map where that is. "Please avoid the area. We will give more in the near future."
Again, police in New Zealand responding the short fired in central Christchurch. Local media reporting that this happened at a mosque, and again, we got some information from Chris Lynch with Newstalk ZB Radio in Christchurch. Chris saying three things that we are looking to conform ourselves, of course Chris saying that a dead body seen near mosque. Chris also saying a second gunman at another mosque, and Chris saying, reports of an active shooter. But again these are things we're looking to confirm.
Let's now bring on the phone Mohan Ibn Ibrahim who witness the shootings. If you could tell us what you saw, about what time you saw it, what's happening?
MOHAN IBN IBRAHIM, WITNESS TO MOSQUE SHOOTING: I was actually praying inside the mosque, like I was inside the mosque and it was a big mosque and what happened around 1:40 to 45, there was like gun firing sound was coming from the backside, because I was quite inside.
So what happened is like, there is a barricade in the middle, so, if somebody gets inside by using the main door they have to come walk inside like -- they have to walk like maybe one minute, so what happened is like, there was that door -- two doors on the left side and the right side. So, when I heard the sound coming and I thought it was possible -- maybe electric shock, circuit, something like that and then it was like continuously happening.
So on the right side people were just coming out of the mosque by using that door on the right side door and we were just running towards the back side and there was a barricade wall there -- a wall we had to jump out of the wall and still we were like hearing the sound of the gun. It was continuously shooting for maybe 10 to 15 minutes and later on we use the backside and then came out on the other street. And since then the police -- we called to the police and went live, and when I came to this I saw that one person got shot on his chest and ambulance came, and the police came there, the doctor was taking care of him.
So that time I went to live on Facebook to explain actually what's happening. And one more sad thing is like, it's not only happens to this mosque, there are two mosque in Christchurch area into two suburb. So one in Riccarton Deans Avenue, and I call to my other friends who are, you know, who went to other mosque and we asked them is the same thing happened here as well. And they told me like five people died out there in that mosque.
And I have seen on my naked eye which is three people died on the -- they were like on the street and I couldn't contact two of my friends who are inside the mosque as well. That's what I saw --
HOWELL: Mohan Ibrahim --
IBN IBRAHIM: -- there was a lot of police and ambulance came and they allowed us to go in the mosque and I'm in to get close it.
HOWELL: Mohan Ibn Ibrahim is on the phone with us sharing a story of survival. Mohan, you are able to escape this. I just want to make sure that I understand. You say that this went on for some 15 minutes, is that correct?
IBRAHIM: About -- it would be minimum of 10 minutes.
HOWELL: Oh, gosh. And you were able to get out and escape. You say that you saw people who certainly were --
IBRAHIM: Yes, I couldn't see them. I couldn't see them because -- you know, it's -- so, on later on, like, I heard like -- you know, there was there was a mob people shooter. And those gun sound was so loud. And when I came to the street from the mosque maybe a good say 780 -- 800 millimeter, I still heard the sound.
HOWELL: Mohan, I just want to also go over some other things that you shared with us as you were explaining how you escape all of this. But again you say that you saw that, you know, certainly people had been, you know, injured at the very least near your mosque. You say that you understand there maybe another mosque, maybe two other mosques, correct, that --
[22:30:00] IBRAHIM: Yes, other mosques. Yes, two mosques. So there's a two mosque in Riccarton City.
HOWELL: OK. And --
IBRAHIM: I have other friends at the other mosques as well. So we called them and they told us like it happens here as well.
HOWELL: OK. And, you know, just to put point this out, this is in line with what we heard from Chris Lynch, the reporter with Newstalk ZB Radio. Chris saying one mosque certainly was attacked, the second mosque may have also attacked, and the third may have been active shooter. These are things we're looking to confirm here at CNN. Mohan, tell us about what you're seeing right now so you would have been able to escape what are people doing right now and where other people (inaudible)?
IBRAHIM: When I saw that the police have came, and then later on I want to get close to the mosque but I couldn't get inside. So I can see with my eyes that people are dead, dead bodies on the street. And lots of injured people.
HOWELL: Mohan, tell us what was happening before all of this took place inside of the mosque. Were there a lot of people inside? What was happening?
IBRAHIM: Yes, a lot of people. You could tell like 200 people in mosque.
IBRAHIM: More than 200 people. They all listen to the Imam. So he was delivering his preach before (INAUDIBLE). And we were just focusing on that. And suddenly, we heard the sound, like, you know, that somebody --
HOWELL: Mohan Ibrahim, I want you stay with us, stand by we may back and chat with you here in a moment after the break. But to recap our viewers around the world or following this breaking news in New Zealand, in Christchurch, New Zealand, reports of a series firearms incident in Central Christchurch. We understand at least one mosque may been attacked reports on TVNZ that it took place at a mosque. There also unconfirmed reports that we are looking into about two other mosques that may have been attacked as well. Stand by. Stay with CNN we'll have more with you right after the break.
[22:35:36] HOWELL: I'm George Howell at CNN World Headquarters at Atlanta, following breaking news for you this hour. Out of New Zealand where police say they are responding to a "Serious and evolving situation occurring and Christchurch with an active shooter. Police responding with its full capability to manage the situation but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police recommend that residents who cross Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice. Police thank the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed." That tweet coming again from New Zealand police.
Well, we want to talk more about this now with someone that is there in Christchurch. This is Chris Lynch. We just spoke with him a moment ago. Chris with Newstalk ZB Radio in Christchurch. And Chris, you were sharing some updated information to what we had as well. Talk to us about certainly the mosque that was attacked and then perhaps two others that may have been attacked.
CHRIS LYNCH, NEWSTALK ZB RADIO: The first mosque that was attacked today is the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. No one really is a bit of local really, it's a very relaxed kind of mosque until they've open to public.
I've seen some very graphic details, some bloody (ph) footage. We understand immediately (ph) that the gunman have made this footage live on some social media since the removal, also from media accounts, and (INAUDIBLE), but by looking, what I've seen, George, it is what it is and it does appear to be authentic. Another reports of a second shooter about three case he was seen all day. I don't know if there's speak (ph) of the stage (INAUDIBLE) about a three case east of Christchurch.
Christchurch population of 420,000, very peaceful kind of city. We don't have, you know, tall skyscrapers (INAUDIBLE) of building was kind of destroyed in the 2011 earthquake. A very much city that -- a very freely if you like. There had been reports of a third active shooter outside of the Christchurch hospital.
The good news, some indication how serious this is. I think it's (INAUDIBLE) all of Christchurch, (INAUDIBLE) Christchurch had been placed into locked down, extraordinary, extraordinary for population for about 420,000. The Central Library has been placed in lockdown. The major council building had been locked down.
And quite extraordinary, George, every school in Christchurch City is in lock down today. Now, (INAUDIBLE) everybody is being told to leave Christchurch central city if you don't need to be there. But we do have reports that several dead bodies were seen lying outside at the mosque.
Now this is not confirmed, but the witnessed tell us (INAUDIBLE). They say a child lying in the middle of (INAUDIBLE) which is not part of here. And another man told, this witness, his relative, were shot inside the mosque.
What we do know is there had been reports now up six casualties and that's what I can tell you. What I can tell you is the Bangladesh cricket team is here. They've been here against the New Zealand team in Christchurch but it's not quite major damage if you like. (INAUDIBLE) responsible after making exposure that they've got it.
We also understand that this being (INAUDIBLE) the Bangladeshi cricketers as well. They were inside the mosque when it happens. Unconfirmed reports that they are safe. This is an active situation that right across Christchurch. In fact on east is completely locked down as well.
HOWELL: Chris, I just want to make sure we can go over what you just shared with us. Tell us again about what time this happened.
LYNCH: This happened just after midday, is my understanding. There's a phone call from my phone to say get back to work. There is an active shooter. You know, at first we were told, there were 20 shots that have been through, at least five. We can understand why that's the case now.
And to give you some perspective, New Zealand we're not known as a gun country. We don't have guns, in fact we live police shooting of any description it is major news headline for, you know, for days because it doesn't happen in this country, which makes this all more than compelling really.
What I can tell you is there have been reports from (INAUDIBLE) station that the police got a suspect because my colleague has actually taken a photo of a suspect on the ground at the mosque.
[22:40:08] So, hopefully that some good news. What can I say is when this happened, there was a quite big family prayers that been placed on the mosque, apparently on a Friday afternoon here Christchurch, New Zealand, basically some major prayer takes place over. They pray throughout the day. But we understand there at least 200 people inside this mosque when shots began to be fired.
HOWELL: That is in line with what I guess just shared with, Mohan Ibrahim, that -- there were some 200 people inside of that mosque. I want to make sure that I have your information correct. Again, you say that you spotted a dead body outside of the mosque. They are near Deans Avenue. A second gunman at another mosque you say and then a third active situation near the hospital, near the Christchurch hospital. Is that accurate?
LYNCH: Correct. That is correct. At this stage, the only confirmation that we have is that there is a major incident at the main mosque in Christchurch City and there still active situation at (INAUDIBLE) and active situation near Christchurch hospital. And that's been the case.
But (INAUDIBLE) Christchurch hospital we've been told the hospital has canceled every surgery including urgent surgery. People have been told to stay (INAUDIBLE) here even Christchurch hospital. And even the emergency department had police coming through, you know, about two hours ago telling everybody to clear out. I mean that's how serious it is, even emergency situations have been delayed. Essentially, they are all under lockdown. Now, I can say that one suspect has been described as white, age to his 30 or 40 years of age. And that's upon putting into together, that's exactly what I've seen as well, George.
HOWELL: Chris Lynch, thank you again for this information. We will of course be looking into confirming it here as well, here at CNN, but we'll stay in touch with you as you learn more. But again, Chris Lynch there giving us information that he's learned.
Let's now bring in CNN law enforcement analyst, Josh Campbell. Josh is joining us from Washington D.C. Josh, this sounds like a coordinated attack on mosques near a hospital, and the details are still coming in.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's right. In the initial phase as we're seeing here obviously a very chaotic situation as information is coming into local authorities that are responding to this incident.
What we have seen in incidents around the world, especially here in the United States, is whenever the communication comes and you have a tip, or you have someone that's calling to report an incident, that information is then sent out to law enforcement officers in an area, and sometimes you do see that confusion where, you know, they could be confused, one incident may turn into two, may turn into multiple, officers are trying to determine what they're dealing with.
So, until we actually saw what's exactly what we're dealing with, we can't say that there are multiple incidents, obviously, but again, this is in at chaotic phase.
This is also the threat mitigation phase for law enforcement officers. They have to Herculean task of trying to stop a potential threat that is progress, but then also determine if there are also additional threats.
We've seen incidents where an active shooter has worked alone and we've seen incidents where you have multiple people that are involved, possible multiple subjects and that is something that long enforcement officers will have to determine.
This is where the public comes in, a very key aspect of investigation because any tips of the public has in the area, anything that they see, law enforcement officers are going to want them to provide that information at real-time so they can really determine is this a coordinated attack on multiple facilities, multiple institutions, or this is a lone incident that's happening on one particular area.
Now, we always talk about when these happen, trying to get to the investigation, trying to figure out. OK, who is it, what's the motive, why is this happening? That all will come later. Again, this is right -- very much in the mitigation phase, where law enforcement officer are fanning out trying to determine what is the nature of the threat, has it been stopped, and is this one person or is this multiple people?
HOWELL: Josh Campbell, stand by, because to your point, we are in the early moments, right, of this incident and we heard a lot of information just a moment ago from Chris Lynch. But I do want to just go over again what we have confirmed, what we know here at CNN. I'll start with this tweet coming from New Zealand police, police saying "Serious and evolving situation occurring and Christchurch with an active shooter. Police responding with its full capability to manage the situation but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police recommend that residents who cross Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice." It goes on to say, "Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice. Police thank the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed."
Again, according to local media reports, a serious firearm incident happened near a mosque. This according to TVNZ there in New Zealand. And again, police asking people in the central Christchurch area to stay indoors, stay off the streets. And as I mentioned schools locked down.
Josh, if you're still with us. Are you still with us there?
Josh, you know, to get a sense. So, in this early moments of the investigation, what will authorities be doing right now because it seems there may still be an active situation at the very least near hospital?
[22:45:11] CAMPBELL: That's right. And law enforcement, I've been a former FBI agent, an active shooter is active until it's not. That is until law enforcement has determined that there's no continuing threat. And until they actually have that sense of comfort, that they've identified a subject, that the threat has been neutralized, they're not going to send out that all clear to their officers into the community. Again, they don't know if this is one individual, is this multiple people, is this someone who came with the intent of losing his or her own life in the shooting or did they attempt to flee perhaps.
And again, if it's multiple people, you may have multiple subjects that are now out there on the run the law enforcement officers have to locate. And so that's why you really seeing that word go out to the local population to remain in place, to remain in lockdown because the last thing the law enforcement officers need right now is for innocent people to run up against the potential subject that's out there fleeing local police.
And again, this is a frustrating part, obviously people want to know exactly what's going on. But it is so chaotic, in these incidents for law enforcement because they're still trying to sit (ph) through what they know, what they don't know, trying to really to get the center of gravity of what it is that they're dealing with.
And what we've seen in law enforcement officers, both in the United Stated around the world, they've gotten unfortunately, really good at pushing information out in real-time for the public because they know that, again, the public are the eyes and ears. They can provide those tips. And so they're trying to balance that, provide information or inform the public, let them know what's going on, but then also received information from the public. If they see something outside their house, outside their residents, they want to know that in real time. And again, until they actually know what it is that they're dealing with on the scene, it's going to be really hard to determine the breath of that investigation.
The last piece being if this is someone who is indeed in custody, then they determine in short order presumably if that person is cooperative, whether the person was acting alone, whether there are multiple people. If the person is deceased, obviously, there's someone that they can interview. And so, they're not going to send that all clear until they really have that robust investigation in place.
Bottom line, this is going to go on for quite some time. You see this area. We're not going to see law enforcement officers come out and say that all is clear, until they really have a handle on what it is that they're dealing with. At least according to some of the recent reports that this may be involve multiple scenes, a fusion of officers around the city, again in order to determine is there is a lingering threat.
HOWELL: And again this happening just an hour ago. We heard Josh a short time ago from a person who survived one of these attacks saying that in one of the mosques there are some 200 people in at the time praying. And that the shots ran out. We'll try to get back in touch with him, but again, the early moments, the evolving moment of the situation, we're trying to confirm what we can, looking into these reports that we're getting.
Josh Campbell, again, thanks for being with us. But again, we'll continue to bring details to you as we get them. But this is sounding like a major incident that took place there in Christchurch, New Zealand. You see the images here at a hospital. You see some people that are being rushed to the hospital. We'll continue to bring you the updates and information as we get them here on CNN. Stand by.
[22:52:15] HOWELL: Welcome back following the breaking news here at CNN from New Zealand where police say they are responding to a serious and evolving situation, this occurring in Christchurch, New Zealand, Central Christchurch. This is from New Zealand police saying that an active shooter, "Police responding with its full capability to manage the situation but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice. Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents information."
Again, this happening just over an hour ago, we've heard from one person who says that he survived the one of the attacks at a mosque. The mosques was filled at the time with some 200 people and we're also hearing from an eyewitness to one of these attacks. Let's listen together here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FARID AHMED, SURVIVOR OF MOSQUE ATTACK: It was around 1:45, I stopped pray, I heard the big sound of the gun. And the second shot d I ran and a lot of people were sitting in the floor. The gunman was on the run. I ran behind the mosque and I was sitting behind (INAUDIBLE) the police and police take a long for time so I get them. I climb the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Let's now bring in Josh Campbell. Josh has been following all of this with us in Washington D.C. We just heard there Josh from an eyewitness, again, the accounts are coming in and it does seem like there are multiple scenes, many things happening right now, and authorities are very busy.
CAMPBELL: They are indeed and witnesses like we just heard are one of the key for police officers as they arrive on the scene. Obviously, you have people that are coming out. Law enforcement officers are going to want to interview them. They get a sense of what it is that they saw what was going on, did they see a lone attacker, did they see multiple people, and did they see them actually exit the facility.
Now, we talked about the chaos in these situations, when officers arriving on the scene, they don't know what they're dealing with as it relates to whether subject is actually in -- commingled among a group of innocent people. We've seen that in the past where officers who actually methodically (ph) bring everyone outside of the facility because they don't know at the outset if they're someone that maybe involved in the incident that is among the population. And so we're going to see that methodical exit and then interviews are going to take place.
Law enforcement officers want to talk to these people to figure out what it is that they saw and that's going to happen in that location that we've seen and then any tip that they get, they'll search (ph) officers to other locations. And we talked earlier and we've been hearing from police officers that they have the city, essentially in the state of locked down.
CAMPBELL: And we talked about why that is important that you don't want innocent people on the streets if you have a potential threat that still out there. So while this goes on we're going to continue this response. We're going to see this, you know, mass influx of police officers in and around the area until they get a sense of what it is they're dealing with as it relates to potential threat.
[22:55:08] HOWELL: Josh Campbell in Washington D.C. Our CNN law enforcement analyst. Thank you, Josh. We'll, of course, continue to, you know, get this information and run it a bayou to get some context around that. I want to show our videos -- the video that we just showed a moment ago to our viewers. This is a video that is a new video in the CNN. I just want you to know this is at the latest scene that we're seeing there in Christchurch. It shows that there is certainly a lot happening on the streets. Authorities are doing their best seeming to rush people to hospitals as ambulances coming by.
Again, this happening over an hour ago. We understand at least one mosque may had been attacked. That is according to local media reports. And other mosque may have been also been attacked and there may be, and this is according to local reports from Newstalk ZB Radio, an active shooter near a hospital. We'll look to confirm that here on CNN. More after the break, standby.