When the gunman superior towards the mosque, killing these in his path, Abdul Aziz didn’t cover. As a substitute, he picked up the very first thing he may discover, a bank card machine, and ran exterior screaming “Come right here!”
Aziz, 48, is being hailed as a hero for stopping extra deaths throughout Friday prayers on the Linwood mosque in Christchurch after main the gunman in a cat-and-mouse chase earlier than scaring him into rushing away in his automotive.
However Aziz, whose 4 sons and dozens of others remained within the mosque whereas he confronted off with the gunman, mentioned he thinks it’s what anybody would have finished.
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The gunman killed 49 folks after attacking two mosques within the deadliest mass capturing in New Zealand’s fashionable historical past.
The gunman is believed to have killed 41 folks on the Al Noor mosque earlier than driving about 5 kilometers (three miles) throughout city and attacking the Linwood mosque, the place he killed seven extra folks. One particular person died later in a hospital.
White supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with one rely of homicide within the slayings and a decide mentioned Saturday that it was cheap to imagine extra prices would observe.
Latef Alabi, the Linwood mosque’s performing imam, mentioned the loss of life toll would have been far increased on the Linwood mosque if it wasn’t for Aziz.
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Alabi mentioned he heard a voice exterior the mosque at about 1:55 p.m. and stopped the prayer he was main and peeked out the window. He noticed a man in black military-style gear and a helmet holding a big gun, and assumed it was a police officer. Then he noticed two our bodies and heard the gunman yelling obscenities.
“I spotted that is one thing else. This can be a killer,” he mentioned.
He yelled on the congregation of greater than 80 to get down. They hesitated. A shot rang out, a window shattered and a physique fell, and folks started to appreciate it was for actual.
“Then this brother came to visit. He went after him, and he managed to overpower him, and that’s how we had been saved,” Alabi mentioned, referring to Aziz. “In any other case, if he managed to return into the mosque, then we’d all in all probability be gone.”
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Aziz mentioned as he ran exterior screaming, he hoped to distract the attacker. He mentioned the gunman ran again to his automotive to get one other gun, and Aziz hurled the bank card machine at him.
He mentioned he may hear his two youngest sons, aged 11 and 5, urging him to return again inside.
The gunman returned, firing. Aziz mentioned he ran, weaving by way of vehicles parked within the driveway, which prevented the gunman from getting a clear shot. Then Aziz noticed a gun the gunman had deserted and picked it up, pointed it and squeezed the set off. It was empty.
He mentioned the gunman ran again to the automotive for a second time, more likely to seize yet one more weapon.
“He will get into his automotive and I simply received the gun and threw it on his window like an arrow and blasted his window,” he mentioned.
The windshield shattered: “That’s why he received scared.”
He mentioned the gunman was cursing at him, yelling that he was going to kill all of them. However he drove away and Aziz mentioned he chased the automotive down the road to a purple mild, earlier than it made a U-turn and sped away. On-line movies point out cops managed to power the automotive from the highway and drag out the suspect quickly after.
Initially from Kabul, Afghanistan, Aziz mentioned he left as a refugee when he was a boy and lived for greater than 25 years in Australia earlier than shifting to New Zealand a few years in the past.
“I’ve been to a whole lot of nations and this is among the lovely ones,” he mentioned. And, he at all times thought, a peaceable one as effectively.
Aziz mentioned he didn’t really feel concern or a lot of something when dealing with the gunman. It was like he was on autopilot. And he believes that God, that Allah, didn’t assume it was his time to die.