When gunman advanced on New Zealand mosque, one man ran at him

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 17, 2019

Mr Mazharuddin said one of his friends had died at the scene and another was bleeding heavily as he tried to contact emergency services.

Abdul Aziz did not hide when the shooter advanced toward the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers, killing those in his path.

The main suspect in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques was charged with one count of murder a day after an attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens, prompting the prime minister to vow reform of the country's gun laws.

The gunman killed 41 people at the Al Noor mosque before heading across town to the Linwood mosque where he killed seven others.

He added that one of his friends had died of his injuries and another is still in hospital.

Latef Alabi, the mosque's acting imam, said: "He (Aziz) went after him. and that's how we were saved". Alabi said he heard a voice outside the mosque at about 1:55 p.m. and stopped the prayer he was leading and peeked out the window. Then he saw two bodies and heard the gunman yelling obscenities.

He yelled at the congregation of more than 80 to get down.

"Then this brother came over". "Otherwise, if he managed to come into the mosque, then we would all probably be gone".

Mr Mazharuddin said the gunman was wearing body armour and shooting indiscriminately. He said the suspect ran to his auto and got in, which is when he threw a gun at the vehicle. At that moment, Aziz spotted a gun the suspect had forgotten on the floor, picked it up, aimed at the attacker and pulled the trigger, but nothing came out. Aziz said he ran, weaving through cars parked in the driveway, which prevented the gunman from getting a clean shot.

He said the gunman was cursing at him, yelling that he was going to kill them all. The Christchurch resident said he chased the attacker down the street to a red light before he made a U-turn and drove away.

Police caught the man a few minutes later.

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

"If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now", he said.

Australian-born 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant appeared in the dock as the judge read a single murder charge against him.

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