How the New Zealand mosque shootings unfolded

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch Credit: Vincent Yu/AP

Fifty people were killed in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Here is how the attacks unfolded:

Friday March 15, 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT): Police respond to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch.

People are urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour.

Shortly afterwards, all schools in the city are placed into lockdown.

2.30pm: Police describe it as an “active shooter” situation.

4pm: New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says there have been “multiple fatalities” at two locations – the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue in central Christchurch and the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque.

He adds that one person has been taken into custody, but warns it is unclear if more than one person is involved, or if any other locations are under threat.

Police urge all mosques across New Zealand to shut their doors and advise people to refrain from visiting them until further notice.

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern calls it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

5.30pm: Mr Bush says three men and one woman are in custody over the shootings.

A short time later, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison confirms one of the people arrested is an Australian citizen.

Forty people have been confirmed killed Credit: AP

7.30pm: Ms Ardern says 40 people are believed to have died in the shootings, while more than 20 are seriously injured.

She says the offender is in custody, adding: “I can give that assurance, he has been apprehended. He is also accompanied by two other associates.”

Asked about the attackers not being on intelligence agency watchlists, she says it is an indication they “had not acted in a way that warranted it”.

9pm: Police Commissioner Bush tells a press conference that the death toll has risen to 49 and one person charged with murder.

He says a male suspect in his late 20s will appear at a Christchurch court on Saturday morning.

Police are not looking for any named or identified suspects, he says, but adds that it would be “wrong to assume that there is no-one else”.

Saturday March 16: Brenton Tarrant appears in court on one count of murder and is remanded until April 5.

Ms Ardern says the suspect held a Category A gun licence which enabled him to legally obtain semi-automatic weapons. She says the country’s gun laws will change in the wake of the attack.

Thirty-nine people remain in Christchurch Hospital, 11 of them in intensive care.

Sunday March 17: Police say the death toll has risen to 50 after another victim was located at the mosque on Deans Avenue.