At least 49 people killed in shootings at New Zealand mosques

At least 49 people were killed and more than 40 people are being treated for injuries after at least one shooter opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, on Friday, according to New Zealand police.

Two of those injured are in critical condition, one of which is a 5-year-old child who is being transported to Starship Hospital.

Police are still working to confirm the identities of those who have died, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said earlier that four individuals were taken into police custody, three men and one woman.

A 28-year-old Australian man who was charged with murder was remanded without plea until his next appearance in court on April 5, while two others remain in police custody. NBC‘s Australian subsidiary, Channel 7, say police sources have named one of the suspects as Brenton Tarrant.

The charged individual “traveled sporadically to New Zealand and stayed for varied amount of time,” but was not a resident of Christchurch, Ardern said in a statement.

Police are still investigating whether the two other individuals were directly involved in the shooting.

The fourth individual arrested yesterday was a member of the public who was in possession of a firearm with the intention of assisting police. This individual has since been released.

None of those apprehended had a criminal history in New Zealand or in Australia, nor were they on any watch-lists in either country.

The perpetrator used a total of five fire arms: two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm. The individual was in possession of a gun licence acquired in November 2017.

As of 5:47 p.m. local time (12:47 a.m. ET), authorities said a lockdown of local schools had been lifted.

Bush said several explosives had been attached to vehicles. He added that there is no assumption the attack was contained to Christchurch.

Bush said in a statement Friday police investigations are in the early stages and they “will be looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event.”

He said there would be “heightened police presence at community events today for safety and reassurance.”

Forty-five additional police staff have been flown in to Christchurch and eighty more will be arriving later today.