Alleged mosque gunman: ‘I’m one of nine’

PHOTO: Dean Purcell

Police feared up to nine terrorists could have been on the loose in Christchurch on the day of the mosque shootings, it can be revealed.

The Star has learned when the alleged gunman was apprehended iby armed police in Brougham St on March 15, he told allegedly said he was one of nine.

The alleged gunman was dragged from his car, which contained an exposive device, handcuffed and held on the footpath.

The city was already in a state of panic and emergency services were swamped with calls about the initial shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Deans Ave and then at the Linwood mosque.

Much of the information coming into police and ambulance was conflicting, making the siutation confusing.

With two attacks already having occured within a short time frame, the alleged comments about more terrorists at large heightened an already chaotic scene.

It prompted the widespread lockdown of schools and government offices until 6pm, when police were confident risk from potential other terrorists had abated.

Police chiefs would not comment yesterday.

“We are not in a position to comment while the extensive police investigation is ongoing and the matter is before the court. All of the detail will become part of the court proceedings,” a spokeswoman said.