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'I Saw Dead People Everywhere': Witnesses Fled Amid Bodies

People who were inside a Christchurch mosque when a gunman opened fire have described seeing others around them dying and injured as they fled the terrifying scene.

Syed Ahmed was among those worshipping at a mosque on the New Zealand city's Linwood Avenue on Friday afternoon when he says a man wearing a black motorcycle helmet and camouflage clothing begin shooting from outside.

Mr Ahmed has told the news site Stuff he believes at least eight people were shot, the first being elderly people sitting on chairs as they prayed.

"They were basically all shot," he said.

The shooter was "shouting something" which Mr Ahmed couldn't hear over the sound of screams, before he crawled into a storeroom to get away.


Sabir Hussain told Stuff he was praying at the same mosque when he heard the imam (leader of the mosque) say "our brothers have been shot".

He went into the washroom where he saw a man dead outside, prompting him to jump out a window and hide behind a fence until police arrived.

The Linwood Avenue mosque is one of two which have subject to a shooting, with another taking place at a mosque on Deans Avenue.


Len Peneha, who lives next door to the latter, told the Associated Press he saw a man dressed in black enter the mosque at about 1.45pm.

He then heard dozens of shots as people ran out in terror and went into the mosque to help.

"I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque," he said.

Police have confirmed multiple people have been killed in the shootings.

It's understood that three men and a woman have been taken into custody.

"We are dealing with a very serious and tragic series of events in the Christchurch-Canterbury area," police chief Mike Bush said.

"They involve an active shooter. They involve multiple fatalities."


National 24/7 Crisis Services

Lifeline: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au 

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 79 www.mensline.org.au

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 www.beyondblue.org.au

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