Christchurch Mosque Shootings: Linwood business owners told to avoid windows
Businesses neighbouring the Linwood Masjid say they were told to stay away from windows by the Armed Offenders Squad as events unfolded in Christchurch on Friday.
The Linwood Avenue mosque was one of two in the city where fatal shootings took place. One person has so far been arrested, but police believe there may be other offenders involved.
Linwood Dental Centre practice manager Janine Richmond said she heard about 20 gunshots come from the Linwood Mosque about 1.45pm.
She said armed offenders squad (AOS) members with dogs came in and searched the clinic, which is about 50 metres from the mosque, shortly after.
"They [AOS] have told us to stay here because it's not safe.
"We can't leave and we've been told to stay in a room and stay away from the windows."
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Situated in a bank of stores next door to the Masjid, Homebrew shop Your Shout owner Jarryd Ford-Mason said he was in a shop when he heard a loud banging noise.
"It sounded like really heavy construction hammers … no-one thinks it's a gun."
When he went to investigate he saw a car parked in the driveway to the mosque, which backed out as he approached. A man then ran out of the mosque, picked up a shotgun from the ground and chased the car, throwing something at it and smashing the back window.
"He was really focused on the car."
All the shop owners retreated to their shops, where they stayed until they were told to evacuate by police, he said.
"It's a bit freaky."
They had been warned the lockdown could last 24 hours.