I saw it before I knew what I was watching. Right before going to bed, I happened to grab my phone to check possible story ideas for the next day. The first thing I saw was a report about an assault on two New Zealand Mosques.
Horrified, I quickly flipped through Twitter, trying to catch up on what I had missed a couple of hours before. That’s when I saw it. The live stream video of the actual attack - filmed on a GoPro by the alleged gunman!
During the horrific 17 minutes of terror, the attacker chronicled his actions for all the world to see, documenting the terrifying last few moments in the lives of the unwary worshippers.
“The gunman, who was dressed in tactical gear, appeared to live stream video of the shooting on social media, documenting his trip from his vehicle and into the worship center where he opened fire indiscriminately.”
The video is still online today, so chances are that you’ve viewed the sickening footage. We are not going to post it here out of respect for the families.
But, if you would like to see it, a thorough search of Twitter and other social media sites is likely to give you the results you are looking for.
His first stop was the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in the midst of Friday midday prayer, where he entered the building and shot indiscriminately at anything that moved. The suspect then drove three miles away to the Linwood Masjid Mosque and again opened fire.
Police, in pursuit, searched numerous cars for evidence of the gunman or weapons. Eventually, after ramming the suspect’s car, they took one man into custody. In all three people have been arrested.
Police also report disarming two bombs and confiscating numerous weapons found inside a vehicle.
The man identified in the video as the shooter is apparently from Australia and is linked to a 75-page ‘manifesto’ in which he rants about a variety of issues, including social media and illegal immigration.
According to ABC, “Three people are in custody, including one Australian citizen. One man was charged with murder and is expected to appear in court Saturday, police said."
The New York Times reports, "New Zealand’s police commissioner, Mike Bush, said three other individuals found near the scene with weapons were also taken into custody, though investigators later said that one probably had nothing to do with the attacks.
“The shootings were first reported at about 1:40 p.m., around the time of the midday Friday prayer, when the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque, about three miles east, would be most busy. The manifesto had appeared online minutes earlier.
"The document named both mosques, and links to it were posted on Twitter and 8chan, an online forum known for hosting message boards with extremist right-wing discussions.
"The 8chan post included a link to what appeared to be the gunman’s Facebook page, where he said he would soon broadcast live video of the attack.
“In addition to those killed, at least 48 people were being treated for gunshot wounds, including young children, the authorities said.”
Please join us in praying for the victims and their families - and for an end to all such horrific acts of terrorism.