Tragic last words of terrorist’s first victim
A worshipper at the Christchurch mosque, very possibly the first to be targeted by the Australian terrorist, saw the killer's gun but instead of running welcomed him with open arms.
He is one of a number of victims who is being hailed for their bravery in the face of sheer terror and almost certain death.
Australian man Brenton Tarrant has been charged with murder following the death of 49 people at two mosques in the South Island city on Friday.
The killer used a helmet mounted camera to record and livestream the massacre. A man was overheard on the video of the mass shooting saying, "hello brother," as the gunman approached the entrance to the Al-Noor mosque on Deans Avenue where the majority of the 49 victims died.
Mourners took to social media after the horrific attack to honour the man, Fox News has reported. News.com.au has not been able to confirm the report.
A Melbourne resident was one of the first people to point out the "crucial detail" about the worshipper's final act on Facebook, encouraged people to focus on the victims and heroes - like the unidentified man in the video - rather than the attackers.
"Perhaps this hero was trying to diffuse the situation? [Allah] used this man to show the world the kindness that is Islam. That this mans final act was an Islamic one, a sincere courageous and warm way to stop violence instead of fuelling it. May [Allah] grant this hero and the rest of the victims the highest level of paradise."
Another victim at the Al-Noor mosque was Naeem Rashid. He has been identified by some who watched the distressing video as the man who tried to wrestle the firearm out of the hands of the shooter.
Talking to the New Zealand Herald, Khaled Al-Nobani said he was in the mosque at the time of the attack.
The terrorist, who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant, had already shot multiple people in the mosque's entrance, corridor and prayer rooms, said Mr Al-Nobani.
"One guy he jump for him, try to take the gun from him. He shot him straight away. I try to follow him, but I can't," he said.
Pakistan's Ary News has reported that both Mr Rashid and his 21-year-old nephew Talha were murdered in the attack.
Currently 48 people are being treated for injuries, New Zealand authorities have confirmed.
The majority of patients are males aged 30 to 40, a woman in her mid-20s is "critically ill" and several children were also treated.
A four-year-old girl has been transferred to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition, he said.
Two children remain in Christchurch for treatment to gunshot wounds - a two-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy - and are in a stable condition.