Witnesses describe moment gunman open fired in New Zealand mosque5 min read

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Witnesses have described the horrifying moment an ‘Australian’ gunman open fired in a New Zealand mosque, killing at least 27 people. 

The shooter, who identified himself on Twitter as ‘Brenton Tarrant,’ stormed into Masjid Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time, gunning down dozens while hundreds of worshipers took part in Friday prayer. 

‘The guy was wearing like an army [suit]. He had a big gun and lots of bullets. He came through and started shooting everyone in the mosque, everywhere,’ Ahmad Al-Mahmoud told Stuff.

‘They had to smash the door – the glass from the window and the door – to get everyone out.

‘We were trying to get everyone to run away from this area. I ran away from the car park, jumping through the back [yard] of houses.’

Al-Mahmoud said the man was ‘wearing a helmet’ and must have fired ‘hundreds’ of gunshots. 

Another survivor, identified only as Nour, told the New Zealand Herald the gunman shot worshipers outside before making his way inside. 

A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself (pictured) gunning down dozens of worshippers as he stormed through a mosque

A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself (pictured) gunning down dozens of worshippers as he stormed through a mosque

A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself (pictured) gunning down dozens of worshippers as he stormed through a mosque 

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter's weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The shooter’s weapons were marked with the names of other people who have carried out attacks

The alleged gunman taking for his Facebook livestream before the Christchurch mosque shooting

The alleged gunman taking for his Facebook livestream before the Christchurch mosque shooting

The alleged gunman taking for his Facebook livestream before the Christchurch mosque shooting

‘I saw people drop dead in front of me. I was crawling to get away,’ he said. ‘It was hitting the walls.’ 

Nour fled the carnage by jumping through a broken window.    

A video seen by Daily Mail Australia shows the man shooting pulling up to the mosque before gunning down multiple people outside.  

He then makes his way through the mosque killing several more. 

That shooter is believed to be a 28-year-old Australian who reportedly posted a 87-page manifesto to Twitter before the killings, describing them as a ‘terrorist attack’.  

His rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying ‘let’s get this party started’.

He then drove to the mosque listening to folk music and military tunes before parking in an alley around the corner.

Mohan Ibrahim was inside the mosque and said he thought the sound of the shots was ‘an electric shock’ until he saw everyone running. 

After retrieving one of at least six assault rifles stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing at the first person he saw

After retrieving one of at least six assault rifles stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing at the first person he saw

After retrieving one of at least six assault rifles stored in his car, he walked up to the front door and began firing at the first person he saw

Shooters rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying 'let's get this party started'

Shooters rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying 'let's get this party started'

Shooters rampage began when he got into his car wearing military-style body armour and a helmet saying ‘let’s get this party started’

A man dressed in 'army' gear entered Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time opening fire while hundreds of people were taking part in Friday prayer

A man dressed in 'army' gear entered Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time opening fire while hundreds of people were taking part in Friday prayer

A man dressed in ‘army’ gear entered Noor Mosque in Christchurch around 1.40pm local time opening fire while hundreds of people were taking part in Friday prayer 

Ibrahim said is ‘scared’ for his friends, many of which are still inside.

‘I still have friends inside. I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven’t heard from,’ he said. 

There have also been reports of another shooting by a second gunman at the  nearby Linwood Masjid mosque.   

 Robert Weatherhead told the Herald that the gunman had magazines strapped to his legs.

Another witness said he ran behind the mosque to call the police after hearing the gun go off. 

‘I heard the sound of the gun. And the second one I heard, I ran. Lots of people were sitting on the floor. I ran behind the mosque, rang the police,’ the man told Stuff. 

‘I saw one gun on the floor. Lots of people died and injured.’  

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as ‘critical’. 

One man inside the mosque at the time of the shooting said there ‘bodies all over me’. 

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as 'critical'

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as 'critical'

Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as ‘critical’

Witnesses inside also reported seeing 15 people being shot, including children.

A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath.

‘My wife is dead,’ he said while wailing. 

Authorities have not released a confirmed number of deaths, but witnesses say the death toll can be over a dozen. Above ambulance staff are seen taking a man from outside the mosque

Authorities have not released a confirmed number of deaths, but witnesses say the death toll can be over a dozen. Above ambulance staff are seen taking a man from outside the mosque

Authorities have not released a confirmed number of deaths, but witnesses say the death toll can be over a dozen. Above ambulance staff are seen taking a man from outside the mosque 

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. Many people were killed in a mass shooting but there is still no confirmed number of deaths

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. Many people were killed in a mass shooting but there is still no confirmed number of deaths

Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. Many people were killed in a mass shooting but there is still no confirmed number of deaths

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers

A video seen by Daily Mail Australia shows the man firing multiple shots at dozens of people as they try to flee. The gunman is still at large.  

The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people. The number of deaths has not been confirmed. 

The Bangladesh cricket team – who are currently on tour in New Zealand – were inside the mosque praying at the time of the shooting and were forced to flee for their lives, ESPN reported. 

A witness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and saw ‘blood everywhere’. 

Mr Jama said four people were injured and that he saw two people lying on the ground. He did not know if they were alive or dead, Stuff reported.  

There may have been more than one shooter inside the mosque, the New Zealand Herald reported.