Police Commissioner Mike Bush said a person is in custody, but the police are unsure if there are other suspects.
"As far as we know (the Scots occurred) in two places, a mosque on Deans Avenue and another mosque on Linwood Avenue," Bush said. "We are unsure if there are other places outside the threatened area".
Bush said they "were about a very serious and tragic series of events in the Christchurch Canterbury area" and warned people to stay in the streets. He asked "someone who was thinking of going to a mosque somewhere in New Zealand today not to go." To close the doors until you hear us again, "he said.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a shooting press conference at two Christchurch mosques and described it as" one of New Zealand's darkest days ".
" which has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence, she said.
Ardern said the attacker has "no place in New Zealand".
"At the moment my thoughts and I are sure that all New Zealand's thoughts are with those who have affected their families," she said.
Police said they were about to mobilize each national police resource to respond to the incident.
Parts of Christchurch were put on hold when armed police were deployed after receiving reports of shots shot in the city center at 1:40. Friday local time
Considering CNN, Mohan Ibn Ibrahim testified that he was inside the mosque when the shot began and that he heard the shooter "continuously shoot for ten to 15 minutes."
"I was in the mosque. It's a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside. The shooters came from the back. Shots went on for a long time. We had to jump the wall to escape. I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the back of the mosque, "he said.
"I came to the street I saw that a person was shot on the chest," he said, adding that the ambulance and police arrived at the scene.
He said he had a friend in another mosque in the area had told him that a firearm had opened fire where too and five people were dead.
"I couldn't contact two of my friends who are also in the mosque," he said.
A spokesman at Christchurch hospital told CNN that "several" accidents had been sent there, but did not confirm the number.
The police are aware of a video shared online and not verified by CNN aimed at displaying a rifle entering a named mosque and open fire.
"The second shot, I drove, lots of people sat on the floor," he said. "The gun was (at) the door, I was driving behind the mosque and I was behind … and I called the police."
According to TVNZ, Nazir saw several deaths and injuries, including three women based outside the mosque.
Bush said in a statement that "all Christchurch schools have been locked up".
"The police urge anyone in downtown Christchurch to stay off the streets and report suspicious behavior immediately to 111," he added.
A video published on Twitter showed that Bangladesh's cricket team went away from the mosque. Talking to CNN, the team's coach said that their bus had pulled up at the mosque when photography happened.
Christchurch is a coastal city with 404,500 inhabitants. It is the second most populous city in New Zealand behind Auckland and Wellington. It has an agricultural economy.
In 2010 and 2011, the city was hit by a series of devastating earthquakes, with the most destructive in 6.3 magnitude, killing nearly 200 people and destroying thousands of buildings.
This is a developing story.