A horrified survivor of the New Zealand terror attack has told how a man tackled the gunman and stole one of his weapons before running away.
Syed Mazharuddin was praying on Friday at the Linwood Masjid mosque in Christchurch، which was the second mosque to be attacked، when he heard gunshots right in front of him.
He said he saw the shooter wearing protective gear and firing wildly before a young man attempted to tackle the gunman. 'He saw an opportunity and pounced and took his gun،' Mr Mazharuddin told The NZ Herald.
The young hero took the gun out of the shooter's hands and attempted to defend people in the mosque but couldn't figure out how to use the weapon، he said.
'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 car and he fled،' Mr Mazharuddin added.
Mr Mazharuddin said he tried to take cover when he noticed the gunman come in through the main entrance door where 60 to 70 people were praying. He said the gunman then opened fire on elderly people who were praying inside the mosque and he witnessed one of his friends die in the brazen attack after they were shot in the chest and head.
An Australian white supremacist، who identified himself as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant from Grafton، livestreamed the attack - the deadliest in New Zealand's history - on Facebook. At least 49 people died and 48 were injured.
Police arrested four people over the attacks and said a 28-year-old man would appear in court on Saturday charged with murder، but did not name the suspect. The gunman stormed the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island during Friday prayers about 1.30pm، opening fire with a semi-automatic shotgun and a rifle on about 100 defenceless worshippers.
The attack was broadcast in horrifying، live video which showed the suspect wielding at least two rifles. It followed the publication of a 73-page manifesto in which Tarrant laid out his racist، anti-immigrant views.
'It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack،' Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said، noting that many of the victims could be migrants or refugees.
She pronounced it 'one of New Zealand's darkest days.'
The attack shocked people across the nation of 5 million people، a country that has relatively loose gun laws but is so peaceful even police officers rarely carry firearms.