New Zealand police have confirmed that the lockdown has been lifted in a tweet:
Police can now confirm the lock down of schools throughout Christchurch has been lifted. We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large Police presence in the city and the safety of the community is our priority.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
The incident began at the Masjid Al Noor mosque, according to a report on TVNZ, and there are reports of multiple injuries and casualties.
There are also reports of a shooting at a second mosque.
All Christchurch schools were placed in lockdown after the event.
1/2 A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter.Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off...— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) 15 March 2019
1/4 Due to the ongoing serious firearms incident in Central Christchurch Police would like to remind all parents and caregivers that schools across the city remain in lock down.There is no timeframe at this stage for when the lock down will be lifted. The children are being...— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) 15 March 2019
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her horror at the events that are currently unfolding in Christchurch.
“This was an act of extraordinary and unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand," she said.
“It is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.
“Many of the people affected by this act of extreme violence will be from our refugee and migrant communities.
“New Zealand is their home. They are us.
“The person or people who carried out this act of unprecedented violence are not.
“There is no place in our home for them.
“My thoughts, and I know all New Zealanders’ thoughts, are with those affected and with the people of Christchurch."