In disturbing footage made by the gunman, he says he identifies as a 28-year-old white man from Australia who had “planned the attack for the last two years”. According to news outlet PM Breaking News, the attacker says he was “motivated to take revenge against foreign invaders in European lands” and was “inspired by Anders Breivik”. The horrifying video, which has been shared thousands of times on Twitter, shows the shooter entering a mosque before spraying bullets at innocent worshippers.
The attack has been described by the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
Dozens of people are said to be injured after attacks at two mosques.
Reports suggest that a bomb had also been located in a car as well as the city’s hospital being on lockdown.
New Zealand police confirmed one suspect is currently custody following the attack.
READ MORE: New Zealand mosque shooting LIVE UPDATES: Nine DEAD
However another active shooter remains at large.
Commissioner Mike Bush said it was a “very serious and grave situation” and warned people not to leave their homes.
He said: “Close your doors until you hear from us again.”
Earlier, crickets from the Bangladesh national team told of how they managed to escape from the mosque.
They had been in the area worshipping before they take on the New Zealand team on Saturday.
A witness told TVNZ of the shocking scenes inside the mosque at the time of the shooting.
He said: “It started in the main room.
“I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious.
“So I tried too get out and I pushed myself at the back where my car was, and from there I heard the shooting, it went on six minutes or more, I could hear screaming and crying, I saw some people drop dead, some people were running away, I was in a wheelchair, so I couldn’t get anywhere.
“He did his massacre inside the mosque.”