'From the conversations we had about life he didn't strike me as someone who had any interest in that or extremist views, ' she said.
Ardern at her news conference alluded to anti-immigrant sentiment as the possible motive, saying that while many people affected by the shootings may be migrants or refugees "they have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home".
The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said it was "One of New Zealand's darkest days", calling the attacks "an unprecedented act of violence".
"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter.Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high".
He fired more shots on the street at no apparent target, and said: "Looks like we won't get the bird today boys". "We are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area that are under threat".
Unconfirmed reports say there may have been multiple gunmen inside the Al Noor Mosque.
"They are shaken but good".
The Bangladesh cricket team was in the vicinity of the shooting but all members were safe, a team coach told media.
Multiple outlets are reporting that two mosques have been attacked in Christchurch, New Zealand.
A right-wing extremist who opened fire on a New Zealand mosque published an online manifesto detailing his plans to carry out the massacre just hours before the attack. The players just started running when they heard the shots.
"Some had been shot and then about five minutes after that the police turned up".
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The photographer working for the publication also said he had seen three seriously injured people lying on the steps of the mosque.
According to BBC, witnesses said "several people appeared to be injured inside the building" and the police had advised people to stay away from the area. "It's unbelievable nutty. I don't understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone".
"Police is now at a number of scenes", police said.
The second shooting took place Linwood Masjid, located on Linwood Avenue.
7 News say dozens of shots were fired and there is a heavy police presence at Christchurch Hospital.
"There were bodies all over me", he said.
Mr Ahmed said he stayed "low on the ground" to flee the scene through the storeroom.
The Bangladesh cricket team, which was about to enter the mosque, escaped unhurt as soon as the shooting occurred.
The gunman in New Zealand had "for Rotterham" written on his rifle magazine together with names of other mass shooters.
Ms Jamieson described the community impact as "devastating".