A Nigerian Linwood mosque leader, Lateef Alabi, escaped death when the attacker struck in one of the mosques on Friday.
The volunteer imam said he was praying when he saw the gunmen outside the mosque with a machine gun.
“He shot one brother coming towards the mosque; he shot him from the head.
“I stopped my prayer, I peeked through the window, and I saw the person with a machine gun, heavily dressed. By the time I looked on the ground and saw dead bodies I thought this is something else, this is a terrorist.”
Alabi said he told everyone immediately to “get down”, but they still don’t understand until the gunman shot someone through the window.
According to him, the gunman ran out of bullets and dropped his gun, which gave a man inside the mosque the opportunity to follow the shooter while he was leaving the mosque, pick up the machine gun and smashed it into the gunman’s windscreen, which made the gunman ran away.
Alabi became emotional talking about those that were killed in the incident and the grieving families.
“I started picking up the bodies to know who was dead and who was alive.”
“I never thought this would happen in New Zealand, never, never, never, believe me.
“But it’s happened, it’s happened, so it will happen anywhere and …. we just feel bad about those who have passed away … and for their families … I will pray for them” he said.