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'Come here!': the man who chased away the Christchurch shooter

17 March 2019

Abdul Aziz, 48, heroically went after the 28-year-old Australian killer, who Fox News is not naming, while Aziz's four sons and dozens of others remained inside Linwood mosque in Christchurch fearing for their lives.

Survivors of the Christchurch mosque shootings have recalled how elderly worshippers and children were mercilessly gunned down as a heavily armed attacker methodically targeted Muslims Friday in New Zealand's worst massacre. Seven were killed at the Linwood mosque.

Lateef Alabi who is the Linwood mosque's acting Imam was leading the congregation in prayers on the fateful day when terrorist Brenton Tarrant struck.

Mr Alabi said he heard a voice outside the mosque about 1:55 pm (local time) and stopped the prayer he was leading and peeked out of the window. At first, he thought it was a police officer but then he noticed two dead bodies near him.

Despite his actions, Mr Aziz denied he was a hero in the interview, saying: "I don't think I am a hero [and] I don't like to be called a hero because as a human being... if there was someone else there they would do the same".

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Pakistan's high commissioner said six citizens had been killed and three were missing. They hesitated. A shot rang out, a window shattered and a body fell, and people began to realize it was for real.

"Then this brother came over". Then he went to the mosque as usual.

"The young guy who usually takes care of the mosque he saw an opportunity and pounced on him (the gunman) and grabbed his gun", Mazharuddin said.

At least another seven people died at the Linwood Avenue mosque, about five kilometres away, where Syed Mazharuddin said a man wearing body armour and a helmet opened fire.

The gunman fired back but Aziz was able to dodge him by weaving through parked cars, which prevented the gunman from having a clear aim.

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Aziz then took an abandoned firearm that had no ammunition and threw it on the killer's auto after he ran to the vehicle for the second time.

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. "That's why he got scared". The Christchurch resident said he chased the attacker down the street to a red light before he made a U-turn and drove away.

He said the gunman drove away and online videos indicate police officers managed to force the vehicle from the road and drag out the suspect soon after.

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.

"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. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.

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'Come here!': the man who chased away the Christchurch shooter