CHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Church on Friday, a witness said. Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Church to stay indoors.
Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Church at about 1:45 p.m. and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
Peneha, who has lived next door to the mosque for about five years, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in Peneha’s driveway, and fled.
Peneha said he then went into the mosque to try and 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. “It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”