Sonny Bill Williams wells up talking about Christchurch terrorist attack
New Zealand Rugby World Cup winner and former Canterbury Crusader Sonny Bill Williams has condemned the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
40 people have died in the shootings with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing the incident as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and said that four people had been taken into custody for the terrorist attack.
"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack. From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned," she said.
Ardern said that 30 people had been killed at the Al Noor mosque and another 10 at the mosque in Linwood, while 20 more had been injured.
Williams, a practicing Muslim, and a resident in Christchurch whilst with the Crusaders, said that he was deeply saddened that such an atrocity could take place in New Zealand.
My heart is hurting about the news coming out of Christchurch. Sending love & prayers to the effected families❤️😢 pic.twitter.com/7PX9wc56b8
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) March 15, 2019
"Just heard the news," an emotional Williams began.
"I couldn't put into words how I'm feeling right now.
"Sending my duas (supplication) to the families. Just sending my duas to your loved ones.
"Inshallah, you guys are all in paradise. I'm just deeply, deeply saddened that this would happen in New Zealand."
New Zealand’s threat level has been raised from low to high and Ardern said none of the suspects were on terrorism watchlists.
Police said the four people, three men and a woman, had been taken into custody, and that they had found and neutralised a number of improvised explosive devices.
Video footage of the shootings was widely shared on social media, footage which was reportedly taken by the gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded.