Man distracted mosque gunman to save lives

Afghan refugee Abdul Aziz grabbed the only weapon he could find- a hand-held credit card machine- as he ran towards the gunman

Man distracted mosque gunman to save lives

A 48-year old man Abdul Aziz has been labelled a hero for chasing away the gunman who had attacked the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, where him and almost 100 worshippers were observing their prayers. They hesitated. A shot rang out, a window shattered and a body fell.

He went back to his vehicle to reload, then returned to the mosque to kill more people.

When the gunman advanced toward the mosque, killing those in his path, Abdul Aziz didn't hide.

The hero said after seeing the attacker run back to his auto to get another guy, he threw the credit card machine at the gunman. "I didn't want him to go inside the mosque". Aziz spotted a gun the attacker had dropped and picked it up.

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.

Aziz said the man ran back to his vehicle to possibly pick up another firearm.

"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.

He said the gunman ran back to the vehicle for a second time, likely to grab yet another weapon.

The gunman killed 49 people in terror attacks at two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand's modern history.

"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 vehicle and he fled".

"There was a lady screaming "help, help" and he shot her point blank in the face", he said.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said that gun laws will be reformed after the attacks, as legislation allowed the suspect the legally obtain a semi-automatic weapon.

He then picked up a gun left by the shooter and threw it into his auto as he drove away. "That's why he got scared".

He said the gunman was cursing at him, yelling that he was going to kill them all.

But he drove away and Mr Aziz said he chased the vehicle down the street to a red light, before it made a U-turn and sped away. The gunman was apprehended by two armed police officers soon afterwards.

Aziz, who is from Kabul, Afghanistan and only moved to New Zealand 2 and a half years ago, had four children in the mosque.

"One message said it had been dealing with harassment and threats all day".

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.

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.

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