Christchurch mosque massacre: Gunman live-streamed the ordeal for 17 minutes

Armed police following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. — Reuters pic

The world was shocked to discover that a mass shooting incident had occurred in a mosque in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. What is even more shocking is that the gunman of the shooting had live-streamed the whole gruesome act on social media.

The footage appeared to have been captured on a camera strapped to the gunman’s head and lasted for a whole 17 minutes. It puts into question what social media platforms could to stop such content from being streamed online.

The livestream began with the gunman, who identifies himself as “Brenton Tarrant” – a 28-year-old, white Australia-born man – drove to the Al Noor Mosque in Deans Ave, parking his car in a nearby driveway.

His car, a beige Subaru station wagon, looked to have contained a cache of various weapons and ammunition with messages in white writing scrawled on the guns and ammunition, according to The Star.

Armed with two guns and multiple ammunition clips, the gunman proceeded to enter the mosque. Once inside, he began shooting randomly at people inside. Over the course of five minutes, he repeatedly shoots worshippers stopping multiple several times to re-load. Well over a dozen bodies can be seen sprawled in one room alone, according to reports.

He returned to the car during that period to change guns and went back to the mosque to shoot anyone showing signs of life. Victims, even the ones that have been shot and seemed to be lying motionless, were shot multiple times.

The video ends as the gunman drives away from the scene at speed. The city of Christchurch is now under a city-wide lockdown as authorities launched a massive manhunt to look for the killer.

While accounts vary, it is believed up to 30 people may have been killed or wounded in the incident. A Malaysian has been confirmed to be one of the injured while another is feared dead.

“extremely distressing footage”

The Malay Mail reported that New Zealand police describes the footage from the livestream to be “extremely distressing footage” and have urged social media users not to share the footage.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” New Zealand police said in a Twitter post.

“We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

Amin Ashaari