When gunman advanced on Christchurch mosque, one man ran at him

Evarado Alatorre
Marcha 17, 2019

Mr Mazharuddin said the gunman was wearing body armour and shooting indiscriminately. One person died later in hospital. But he drove away and Aziz said he chased the auto down the street to a red light, before it made a U-turn and sped away.

The father said the 28-year-old shouted that he would kill them all but quickly drove off. He said the suspect ran to his auto and got in, which is when he threw a gun at the vehicle.

Latef Alabi, the Linwood mosque's acting imam, said the death toll would have been far higher at the Linwood mosque if it was not for Mr Aziz. "Otherwise, if he managed to come into the mosque, then we would all probably be gone". Aziz says this then prompted the suspect to drive off, prompting him to give chase. He said he could hear his two youngest sons, aged 11 and 5, urging him to come back inside.

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.

Then Mr Aziz spotted a gun that had been discarded by the attacker and picked it up, pointed it and squeezed the trigger.

He said he picked up the weapon and pulled the trigger and, after finding it empty, smashed it through the gunman's vehicle window.

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"It bust his window and that way he got shocked", he explained, adding that the terrorist "swore at me and took off" before he chased him down the street.

Abdul Aziz has said he didn't like to be called a hero but for an entire nation, he is.

The gunman then got into his auto and drove away yelling at Aziz that he would kill them all. Online videos indicate police officers managed to force the auto 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 boy 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 attractive ones", he said.

Aziz said he didn't feel fear or much of anything when facing the gunman. And he believes that God, that Allah, didn't think it was his time to die. "It's a coward's act", he said. The area was evacuated as a precaution, and Australian police said Tarrant's family there is complying with investigators.

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