Bush praises "fantastic" response time from officers, AOS

By Te Ao - Māori News

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has revealed that first responders arrived at the scene of the shooting in Christchurch last Friday within just 5 minutes and 39 seconds. 

Within ten minutes, the Armed Offenders Squad arrived ready to respond, and within 21 minutes, the person now in custody was apprehended and arrested by two police officers. 

"We strongly believe that we stopped him on the way to a further attack, so lives were saved by our staff, courageous in their intervention," Bush says. 

He adds that the timeline for their response was "fantastic".

At a media stand up this morning, Bush said last night 21 victims of the mosque shootings were formally identified and are ready to be returned to their whānau.

"Those hearings are commencing right now and another six will be completed by midday.  The process will carry on until late this evening."

He says the process of formally identifying the victims is comprehensive and a particular standard is required for the coroner. 

"Six coroners are on site to enable this to occur.  They are working with a reconciliation team and there will be hearings for every one of those victims."

There are international experts who are a part of a 120-strong team working on formally identifying the victims. 

The scale of this investigation is significant, with intelligence partners, FBI, Australian Police and other experts from all around the world assisting New Zealand police to build a "comprehensive picture of the shooter".

Bush has confirmed that there was only one attacker involved in the shootings. 

"The focus is to work out if anyone else was involved and we’re still conducting that part of the investigation."

He has also confirmed that police went to a place in which they suspect the shooter would have gone after the initial attack, had he not been arrested.