It’s unclear how many people are dead. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker
It’s unclear how many people are dead. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker

Tradies nursed 5yo victim, cradled dead

A TRADESMAN who was driving past the Masjid Al Noor mosque where a gunman opened fire on hundreds of people inside has described the horrific scene that unfolded in front of them.

The contractor told Radio New Zealand he saw "people running for their lives" and heard "rapid fire" from a semiautomatic weapon.

"We saw these people hit the ground, they were being shot in front of us," he said.

The man said he and his colleagues drove 100m up the road and formed a cordon at the southern end of Deans Avenue so other people could not enter the street before rushing straight to the victims to help.

He said they were nursing victims on the footpath.

"There was one little girl, probably about five, she'd be shot and her father," he said.

He said with it taking 10 to 15 minutes for emergency services to arrive they had to spring into action.

"We managed to get the five-year-old on the back of one of the vehicles before the ambulance came, she was critical," he said.

"The man passed away in his (colleague's) arms. It was surreal."

The contractors stayed for more than an hour, even when the shooter was still at large.

"The shooter came out chasing people running away," he said.

"While my worker was nursing one of the victims there was more shots inside the mosque. "We were very vulnerable but in a situation like that you don't think about yourself."

Bloodied bandages are seen on the road following the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. Picture: Martin Hunter/AAP
Bloodied bandages are seen on the road following the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. Picture: Martin Hunter/AAP

'THERE WERE BODIES ALL OVER ME'

Horrific eyewitness stories paint a disturbing picture of the behaviour of the gunman who burst into one of the mosque's in Christchurch and killed as many people as possible.

It's still unclear how many people have been killed in sickening mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques, but those who saw what happened, say there was blood "everywhere" and described the gunman's cold demeanour in chilling detail.

There are reports of up to 27 fatalities and at least 50 injuries at Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and Linwood Masjid mosque.

One person who saw the shooting at the Al Noor Mosque described on Radio New Zealand what happened when the gunman entered the gates.

A former president of the mosque said a short man, wearing a helmet and glasses with his face covered entered the mosque.

He said the gunman was carrying a M16 or assault rifle with white writing on the barrel.

He asked the gunman "what are you doing?", but added that "the man did not say a word".

The gunman then opened fire at people as they took their shoes off at the mosque's entrance.

He said five people were killed, including a five-year-old boy. He said the shooting lasted for about 20 minutes.

The eyewitness said about 300 people were in the mosque at the time. He said people tried to find places to hide and about 30 to 50 people were lying on the ground.

"Bullets were all around the shooter as he shot," the witness said.

"All of them were shot down - all of them."

"I've seen five people dead."

He said some people were asleep during their prayers while others tried running.

One man at the same mosque told The Sydney Morning Herald he saw children being shot and added, "there were bodies all over me".

The newspaper reported that one man escaped, only to see his wife lying dead on the footpath.

Another witness at Al Noor Mosque with blood splatters across his shirt told AAP the shooter changed magazines seven times after opening fire as the crowd gathered to pray ran for the door.

"He went to all the different (rooms) and he shot everyone," he said, saying he had laid under a bench to pretend he was dead.

Other witnesses described seeing several people covered in blood.

One witness said the shooting lasted 20 minutes. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker
One witness said the shooting lasted 20 minutes. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker

Several hundred people were inside and witnesses reported seeing at least four people on the ground and "blood everywhere", according to Radio New Zealand.

Another man at the scene said it was chaotic, with as many as 40 people injured.

"I heard a big sound of the gun. And a second one, I ran. Lots of people were sitting on the floor. I ran behind the mosque," he told TVNZ.

"The floor. There's lots of blood on the floor, you can see when you go in."

The man, who did not give his name, said he saw four people including a woman on the floor but did not see the shooter.

The suspected shooter uploaded pictures of gun magazines onto his Twitter page.
The suspected shooter uploaded pictures of gun magazines onto his Twitter page.

Christchurch schools, the hospital and the city's university are on lockdown and residents have been told to remain indoors and report suspicious behaviour.

The Bangladesh cricket team, in Christchurch to play New Zealand on Saturday were in the vicinity, and had been left shaken but uninjured, their coach told media.

At least one of the gunmen live streamed the shooting to social media, sharing the horrifying video to Facebook.

The chilling POV video, viewed by news.com.au and verified by Storyful, begins with a man in brown fingerless gloves driving through the streets of Christchurch towards the mosque.

- with wires


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