Within hours of the New Zealand mosque attacks, people of various faiths rallied around Muslims

Flowers and a message are left Friday at Finsbury Park Mosque in London after the New Zealand attack.

HENDERSON (FOX5) -- A Henderson man said he and his wife rushed to check in on their family after they heard reports of a shooting in New Zealand late Thursday night.

The man, who wished to conceal his identity since New Zealand investigators are still looking for others connected to the shooting, said his wife's two sisters, brother and mother all live there.

"My wife comes across and says, 'Oh, my god, baby! Downtown New Zealand just had an assault on a mosque!' I said, 'Where's your sister?'" 

The man went on to say his wife started contacting family to make sure they were safe.

In a Friday press conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the incident a terrorist attack.

"Many of those who have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand and may even be refugees here," Ardern said. "They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us."

The man said he was born and raised in Las Vegas - a city that is familiar with the pain of a mass shooting.

"It really touches home, I'm shaking," he said. "There's too much to be lost. Oct. 1 proved that, now this. Words aren't enough. It's heartbreaking."

Investigators said a total of 49 people were killed in the mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman fired upon the al Noor and Linwood mosques. Both locations were placed on lockdown.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the victims, which included young children with apparent gunshot wounds, were admitted to a local hospital for treatment.

Three men and one woman were taken into custody, Bush said. Local authorities do not believe there area any additional suspects, but said the investigation was still open. A man in his late 20s has been charged with murder.

"Pray for New Zealand," the man said. "Keep New Zealand in your prayers. This is going to be a rough one. It really is."

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved 

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