New Zealand shooting: Survivor recounts confronting suspected shooter

Abdul Aziz

New Zealand shooting: Abdul Aziz, man who chased New Zealand mosque gunman, hailed as a hero

Aziz, 48, is being hailed as a hero for preventing more deaths during Friday prayers at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch after leading the gunman in a cat-and-mouse chase before scaring him into speeding away in his vehicle.

But Aziz remained humble and said he thinks it's what anyone would have done while in such danger, while Latef Alabi, the Linwood mosque's acting imam, said more people would have died if not for Aziz's actions. At first, he thought it was a police officer but then he noticed two dead bodies near him.

He told Stuff that as soon as the attacker had left he ran back inside the mosque to help those who had been shot.

Alabi said he told worshippers to duck down and then described how he and a "brother" chose to confront the attacker during a lull in the gunfire. "Otherwise, if he managed to come into the mosque, then we would all probably be gone".

"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.

The gunman returned, firing.

The gunman began shooting at Mr Aziz, but he managed to dodge between cars parked outside the mosque.

So Lateef's unnamed fellow worshipper seized the initiative and grabbed the rifle, following the attacker to his auto and using it to smash the vehicle's back window before running away.

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.

He says the gunman was cursing at him, yelling that he was going to kill them all. The Christchurch resident said he chased the attacker down the street to a red light before he made a U-turn and drove away.

Online videos suggest police officers managed to force the auto from the road and drag the suspect out soon afterwards.

"I'm very sad for what has happened but I believe this country is a peaceful country and I hope something good will happen after this", he said, fighting back tears.

Mr Aziz said he did not feel fear or much of anything when facing the gunman - it was like he was on autopilot. It was like he was on autopilot.

Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The 48-year-old is responsible for singlehandedly stopping the Christchurch shooter from continuing the massacre at the Linwood mosque, the second mosque he targeted during Friday's mass shootings.

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