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Christchurch shootings: Police release updated timeline of response

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 1:45p.m.
Photo / AP
Photo / AP

Police have confirmed it took them 18 minutes to make an arrest after first being called to shootings at two Christchurch mosques.

The shooting saw 50 people killed and a further 39 injured after the terror attacks at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque on March 15.

While reducing the country's threat level from high to medium, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he wanted the public to have as much information as possible about their response to the two incidents.

However, given the matter was now before the court there were certain details that couldn't be released.

"The investigation team continues to be focused on confirming certain details, particularly timings sourced from a number of electronic systems and devices with differing internal clocks.

"The information released today is currently the best information I have to date and what I can release without compromising the criminal investigation or the trial."

The timeline kicks off at 13.40.

An email which has the manifesto as an attachment is then received by a range of people including Parliamentary Services.

At 13.40.44 Parliamentary Services calls South Comms, a call which will continue for 12 minutes.

"We now know that while police was talking to Parliamentary Services the attack at Al Noor Mosque was already underway, having begun 44 seconds prior to Parliamentary Services calling," Bush said.

One minute later, at 13.41, police received the first 111 call.

Police today released this map and timeline of the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch. Image / NZ Police
Police today released this map and timeline of the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch. Image / NZ Police

"By 13.43 all available units are en-route to Al Noor Mosque.

"Armed Offenders Squad members are the first to arrive near the scene at 13.46.58. They exit their vehicle, start approaching the mosque and one member stops to assist a critically wounded victim."

It was at this point the alleged offender was leaving the area, and his vehicle obscured from the view of AOS by a bus.

"At this time there is no vehicle description, no information an offender has left the mosque, or how many shooters there are."

At 13.51, the first responders arrive at the Al Noor Mosque.

"It takes the alleged offender six minutes to get to Linwood Mosque and he is there for three minutes, leaving at 13.55."

At 13.56.09, police receives information that shots have been fired at the Christchurch Emergency Department. However, it later transpired that no shots had been fired at the hospital.

At 13.56.25 a member of the public flags down a police car to advise shots have been fired in Linwood.

At 13.57 the vehicle is seen by a police unit on Brougham St and a pursuit begins.

The vehicle is stopped at 13.59 and the offender is apprehended.

At the same time, police arrive at the Linwood Mosque.

There are a total of 18 minutes from the time of the first call to 111 to an arrest being made.

"I reaffirm my previous comments that police staff acted as quickly as humanly possible given the rapidly unfolding nature of the event, and the information available to us in that very brief period of time.

"As part of normal operational practice we are debriefing our response."

That debriefing will be done by an independent team, including a Queen's Counsel.

"The debrief is an important process to ensure any lessons are learnt, and used to inform future operational responses.

"I remain incredibly proud of the staff who responded on March 15 and I continue to receive praise and admiration from people both here and overseas for the actions of staff both on the day and in the weeks following."

Timeline of March 15 attack response

13.40.44

- Parliamentary Services calls police south comms

13.41

- Police receive the first 111 call

13.43

- All available units en route to Al Noor Mosque

13:46.58

- Armed Offenders Squad members arrive near the scene. They exit their vehicle, start approaching the mosque and one member stops to assist a critically wounded victim

13:46

- The alleged offender is leaving the area, and his vehicle is obscured from the view of these AOS members by a bus. At this time there is no vehicle description, no information an offender has left the mosque, or how many shooters there are

13.51

- First responders arrive at the Al Noor Mosque

13.52

- Offender arrives at Linwood Mosque

13.55

– Offender leaves Linwood Mosque

13.56.09

- Police receives information that shots have been fired at the Christchurch Emergency Department. It later transpired that no shots had been fired at the hospital.

13.56.25

- A member of the public flags down a police car to advise shots have been fired in Linwood.

13.57

- The vehicle is seen by a police unit on Brougham Street and a pursuit is initiated.

13.59

– The vehicle is stopped and the offender is apprehended.

13.59

- Police also arrive at the Linwood Mosque

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