As more than 400 people gathered for Friday prayer, armed gunmen attacked two mosques in Christchurch.
It has been reported 49 people were killed, and another 48 people injured.
Of the confirmed 40 people killed, 30 were killed at Al Noor Mosque and 10 killed at Linwood Mosque.
One of the attacks was live streamed on social media, with the graphic video since being removed and police requests to refrain people from sharing it.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern said this can only be described as a terrorist attack.
A man in his late 20’s has been charged with murder and will appear in Christchurch Court tomorrow. Two others were arrested at the scene, an another fourth person arrested may have had nothing to do with the attack.
One of the shooters confirmed to be an Australian born citizen, and Australian authorities now involved in investigations as a result.
Several guns have been recovered from both mosques. Two explosive devices were found on two vehicles at the scene. One has been disabled.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison condemned the shooting as a right wing extremist attack, and expressed sincere prayers and thoughts to the victims.
“As family members with our New Zealand cousins today, we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist right wing violent terrorist,” Mr Morrison said.