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Montana couple in midst of New Zealand mass shootings

Posted at 6:34 AM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 14:42:52-04

MISSOULA – A mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, sent the city into a panic with at least 49 people were killed.

MTN has confirmed the former University of Montana interim president and her husband are safe. The pair was traveling in the same neighborhood as that mass shooting.

Sheila Sterns and her husband Hal — a well-known Missoula historian — are traveling in Christchurch and were on the same street when shooting broke out.

“All of a sudden, police cars everywhere, first time we had heard any police activity any kind we have been here in the country and everyone was just going wild,” Hal Stearns told MTN News. “And we were coming on a street called Deans Avenue — which as it turns out  is where one of the mosques is located.”

Hal Stearns

“This city is literally at a stop. Almost 400,000 people and everything is just [shut] down, all the TV stations — everything are impacted. Obviously a  moment in time — Shelia and I– we’re just blown away with how tragic this all is.  If everyone could include these good folks in their prayers and thoughts because New Zealanders are the kindest, nicest people you’ll ever meet,” Stearns concluded.

He says they feel they are safe and are keeping in contact with local authorities.

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