In a video thought to be a live-stream, it has been reported that the gunman told people to ‘subscribe’ to PewDiePie, before entering the mosque and opening fire.
The video reportedly shows the shooter taking a gun from the back of his car. He can be heard saying, ‘Let’s get this party started,’ as he drives up, before adding: ‘Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.’
Identifying himself on Twitter as he broadcast the attack, he then walks through the mosque shooting at random as people huddle in the corners of building.
And now, the Swedish YouTuber – real name Felix Kjellberg – has condemned the incident, tweeting:
“Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch.
“I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
In the wake of the attacks on the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid mosque, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that the suspects involved in the terrorist attack held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or the world.
She told reporters:
“It is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.
“Certainly, it has occurred in a place where people should have been expressing their religious freedom. Where they should have been in a safe environment. And they have not been today.
“There is no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts of unprecedented violence. The people who were the subject of this attack today, New Zealand is their home. They should be safe here. The person who has perpetuated this violent act against them, they have no place in New Zealand society.
“Christchurch Hospital is dedicated to treating those who are arriving at the hospital as we speak as well.
“As soon as I leave here, I will be returning directly on a flight to Wellington. Agencies are already convening in Wellington. I will be looking to meet with them as soon as I land.”
“For now my thoughts and I’m sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families.”
The latest reports indicate that four people have been arrested, with Mike Bush, New Zealand’s police commissioner saying that three men and one woman had been taken into custody in connection with the shootings.
Facebook said it had now removed the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as any third-party support for the crimes committed, and are telling people not to share any distressing footage they might come across.
Our thought are with everyone affected.
Images via Getty/Twitter