An unidentified man wrestled a gun from the hands of the man involved in the terror attack in New Zealand and prevented further deaths, according to witnesses.
Hours after dozens of people were shot dead at two mosques in Christchurch, witnesses described how a young mosque worker risked his life as he tried to apprehend the gunman.
Survivor Syed Mazharuddin told the New Zealand Herald that he was praying with about 60 to 70 people at the Linwood mosque when he heard gunshots.
People began screaming and he “tried to take cover” as the attacker came through the entrance, he said.
“Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them.”
Mr Mazharuddin said the gunman was wearing body armour and shooting indiscriminately.
“There was a lady screaming ‘help, help’ and he shot her point blank in the face,” he said.
“At just that moment, there was one young guy who usually takes care of the mosque and helps with parking and other stuff, so (the man) saw an opportunity and he pounced over to him and grabbed his gun.
“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 said one of his friends had died at the scene and another was bleeding heavily as he tried to contact emergency services.
A second witness, Faisal Sayed, also described seeing the mosque worker’s heroic actions.
Mr Sayed, who has been living in New Zealand for over 10 years, told Indian broadcaster NDTV that he had witnessed the man “creep up behind the shooter and hold him until his gun dropped”.
“If that hadn’t happened, many more would have died and I wouldn’t be here now,” he said.
“Hats off to that man. I will definitely try and look him up.”
He added that one of his friends had died of his injuries and another is still in hospital.