Abdul Aziz, survivor of mosque shooting speaks to Associated Press during an interview in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Aziz, 48, is being hailed as a hero for preventing more deaths during Friday prayers at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch. The gunman killed 49 people after attacking two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s modern history. Seven were killed at the Linwood mosque. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A mosque shooting survivor in New Zealand has been hailed as a hero for preventing more deaths after confronting the shooter by yelling “Come here!” and leading him on a chase that ended with the shooter speeding away in his car.
Abdul Aziz, 48, heroically went after the 28-year-old Australian killer, who Fox News is not naming, while Aziz's four sons and dozens of others remained inside Linwood mosque in Christchurch fearing for their lives.
He grabbed the only thing he saw – a credit card machine – and ran outside screaming “Come here!” to the attacker in a bid to get his attention and buy more time for his fellow worshippers.
The hero said after seeing the attacker run back to his car to get another guy, he threw the credit card machine at the gunman.
The killer came back and opened fire but wasn’t able to get a clean shot as Aziz ran through cars parked in the driveway.
Aziz then took an abandoned firearm that had no ammunition and threw it on the killer’s car after he ran to the vehicle for the second time.
“He gets into his car and I just got the gun and threw it on his window like an arrow and blasted his window,” he said. “That's why he got scared.”
The gunman, who was charged with one count of murder Saturday, allegedly killed 49 people after attacking two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand's modern history. Additional charges are expected.
He is thought to have killed 41 people at the Al Noor mosque before driving about 3 miles to another mosque where he killed seven more people. One person died later in a hospital.
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.
Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. New Zealand’s stricken residents reached out to Muslims in their neighborhoods and around the country on Saturday, in a fierce determination to show kindness to a community in pain as a 28-year-old white supremacist stood silently before a judge, accused in mass shootings at two mosques that left dozens of people dead. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
The imam said he stopped prayers on Friday after hearing a voice outside and then seeing a man in black military-style gear and a helmet holding a large gun. At first, he thought it was a police officer but then he noticed two dead bodies near him.
“I realized this is something else. This is a killer,” he said, adding that he then yelled at the congregation to get down.
“Then this brother came over. He went after him, and he managed to overpower him, and that's how we were saved,” Alabi said, referring to Aziz. “Otherwise, if he managed to come into the mosque, then we would all probably be gone.”
Aziz, who’s originally from Afghanistan, said he left his home country as a refugee at an early age and lived in Australia for 25 years before moving to New Zealand just a couple years ago.
“I've been to a lot of countries and this is one of the beautiful ones,” he said, adding that he thought the country as peaceful as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.