Christchurch mass shootings: Police 'strongly urge' social media users not to share 'disturbing' video

Christchurch mass shootings: Police 'strongly urge' social media users not to share 'disturbing' video
Photo credit: Getty

Police have issued a warning to social media users not to share footage currently circulating the internet believed to be of an attack at a mosque in Christchurch. 

In the footage, which Newshub has chosen not to publish, the apparent shooter can be seen holding a large firearm and walking down the street. The gunman then enters the building and opens fire.

In a post to social media, NZ Police strongly urged people not to engage with any videos depicting the attack. 

"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online.

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

Some internet users have echoed the police warning and are encouraging friends not to engage with the footage.

"Don't share the footage. It's horrendous, and it's what he wants," one man said. 

One Twitter user shared: "As if to show how hard the task of moderation is, I'm watching videos of the incident be uploaded and taken down and then uploaded again in real time. Truly disturbing." 

A witness earlier told Newshub they heard at least 29 shots were fired, while a separate witness reported hearing "hundreds".

A man was reportedly seen entering the mosque "dressed like an armed offenders squad member", the second witness told Newshub.

A firearms expert Newshub spoke to identified the gun as an AR-15. It's not regularly a restricted firearm, however is when combined with the magazine seen in the video. 

Dozens of people are believed to have been injured and at least six people have been reportedly killed.

An emergency triage centre has been set up at Christchurch hospital and the hospital itself has been placed into lockdown, with armed guards at the scene.

A second shooter was reported at another mosque in Linwood, a separate suburb in Christchurch.

Police confirmed to Newshub it was a simultaneous attack launched across multiple locations.

All schools in Christchurch have been placed into emergency lockdown and Hagley Park, which neighbours the first mosque, has also been blocked off by police officers. Residents in the city have been warned to stay inside.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to address media at 4pm. Watch live on Newshub.co.nz.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz