‘Hero’ dad Abdul Aziz saved people from Christchurch terrorist

Relatives of a victim of the mosque shootings wait for news at a community centre in Christchurch New Zealand

Alabi Lateef said he was praying with others inside Linwood Masjid, the second mosque attacked on Friday by self-confessed white supremacist Tarrant, when he heard the sound of gunfire.

Mr Aziz said he could hear his two youngest sons pleading with him to come back inside as he hurled the machine at the attacker who had returned to his auto to get another gun.

Aziz says this then prompted the suspect to drive off, prompting him to give chase.

He is thought to have killed 41 people at the Al Noor mosque before driving about 3 miles to another mosque where he killed seven more people. One other person died at the hospital later.

A new disturbing photo captures the moment a blood-soaked survivor of Friday morning's New Zealand mosque shooting walked away from the horrific scene.

But Aziz remained humble and said he thinks it's what anyone would have done while in such danger, while Latef Alabi, the Linwood mosque's acting imam, said more people would have died if not for Aziz's actions.

People place flowers at a memorial as a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch
People place flowers at a memorial as a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch

He saw a man wearing black military-style gear and a helmet holding a large gun, and assumed it was a police officer.

"By the time I peeked on the floor I see two, three dead bodies".

He told Stuff that as soon as the attacker had left he ran back inside the mosque to help those who had been shot. Then realised oh, this must be something else. "This is a killer", he said.

Alabi said he told worshippers to duck down and then described how he and a "brother" chose to confront the attacker during a lull in the gunfire.

"The hero tried to chase and he couldn't find the trigger in the gun... he ran behind him but there were people waiting for him in the vehicle and he fled".

The shotgun he had picked up was out of ammunition, so when the killer got back in his auto Mr Aziz says he threw the weapon "like an arrow", breaking the vehicle's window.

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The windshield shattered, Mr Aziz said.

The father said the 28-year-old shouted that he would kill them all but quickly drove off.

Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, Mr Aziz said he left as a refugee when he was a child and lived for more than 25 years in Australia before moving to New Zealand a couple of years ago.

"He went after him, and he managed to overpower him, and that's how we were saved", he said.

"I've been to a lot of countries and this is one of the handsome ones", he said, adding that he thought the country as peaceful as well.

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