Nuha Assad came to Deans Ave at 10pm looking for her missing husband. (ABIGAIL DOUGHERTY / STUFF)
Nuha Assad came to Deans Ave at 10pm looking for her missing husband. (ABIGAIL DOUGHERTY / STUFF)

ABIGAIL DOUGHERTY / STUFF

ABIGAIL DOUGHERTY / STUFF

On Friday March 15, 2019, a gunman walked into two Christchurch mosques and killed 51 people.

It was a shocking, brutal assault, the kind New Zealanders had told themselves happened only in other countries. But the terror of a hate-filled mass murder had visited our nation now too. This was the end of our innocence.

PHOTO BY GEORGE HEARD / STUFF

GEORGE HEARD / STUFF

GEORGE HEARD / STUFF

The stories of the 51 people killed are still emerging.

These are the names of all of those who are believed to have died.

If you would like to share more about a victim, email newstips@stuff.co.nz.

Haji-Daoud Nabi, 71

Nabi ran the Afghan Association in Christchurch. He was fatally shot at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave. He was shot and killed as he tried to shield another person, according to his son Omar Nabi.

“He was a father and an uncle to people who had none,” said friend Shamim Homayun.

“He was always giving something away, whether it was his time and advice, or sharing food. And he saw humankind as one.”

Omar Nabi holds a photo of his father, 71-year-old Haji-Daoud who was killed in the Al Noor Mosque. (JASON SOUTH/STUFF)

Omar Nabi holds a photo of his father, 71-year-old Haji-Daoud who was killed in the Al Noor Mosque. (JASON SOUTH/STUFF)

Omar Nabi holds a photo of his father, 71-year-old Haji-Daoud who was killed in the Al Noor Mosque. (JASON SOUTH/STUFF)

Khaled Alhaj Mustafa, 44

Mustafa arrived in New Zealand last year, via Jordan. He was killed at the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave, Syrian Solidarity New Zealand spokesman Ali Akil said. His son Hamza, 16, is also among the dead.

The family are members of the Circassian community, a people who originated from the area around the Black Sea in eastern Europe, Dana Joukhai, from the US, told Stuff.

They had originally hoped to join family in America and other members of the Circassian community, but found they were unable to following President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Joukhai said wife Salwa Mustafa “is now all alone in New Zealand, on the other side of the world from her family, with just her daughter”.

Mustafa had a longstanding love for animals, particularly for horses, and worked as a farrier in Syria.

Ali Elmadani, 65

Elmadani was a retired engineer. He and his wife immigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates in 1998. Elmadani’s daughter, Maha, said her father was strong “so that’s what we are all trying to do, for his sake”.

Atta Elayyan, 33

 New Zealand futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan is among those killed in the Christchurch terror attacks. (SUPPLIED)

New Zealand futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan is among those killed in the Christchurch terror attacks. (SUPPLIED)

New Zealand futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan is among those killed in the Christchurch terror attacks. (SUPPLIED)

Elayyan leaves behind his wife Farah and 2 year old daughter Aya. He was a popular member of the Christchurch tech industry and the goalkeeper for the national and Canterbury men’s futsal teams. He was shot as he prayed at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave. His friends have described him as a “loving father and husband, passionate technologist, loyal friend, and beautiful human”. He’d invested the last 7 years of his life in his start-up, LWA Solutions. The Givealittle page set up to support his family says: “Atta had a passion for supporting and helping others in the good times and bad.”

Husna Ahmed, 44

Ahmed was killed when she returned to the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave to check on her husband Farid, after getting some children to safety. Farid said his wife, who was originally from Bangladesh, was a “very courageous and caring” person and a “dedicated wife.”

Junaid Ismail, 36

Ismail was born and raised in Christchurch. He was with his twin brother Zahid when he was fatally shot. His brother managed to escape with his wife. Ismail leaves behind a wife, three young children and a mother who relied on him to care for her. He owned and ran a family business called Springs Road Dairy. “I couldn’t find a more softly spoken, shy, beautiful personality,” Ismail’s cousin, Javed Dadabhai said.

Hamza Mustafa, 16

Hamza, a Cashmere High School student, was the son of Khaled Mustafa, who was also killed. He arrived in New Zealand from Syria with his family only a few months ago.

Hussein Al-Umari, 35

He was a regular at the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave, Christchurch, where he was killed. Hussein’s family moved to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates 22 years ago. They said Hussein had worked in the travel industry.

Mucad Ibrahim, 3

Mucad, whose family is from Somalia, was with his father and brother at the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave when the shooting began. His father and brother escaped. Mucad was “energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot,” his brother Abdi Ibrahim said. He was born in Christchurch.

Lilik Abdul Hamid, 58

Hamid, from Medan, Indonesia, had two children. Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi spoke with Hamid’s wife and “conveyed deepest condolences and sympathy”, an Indonesian Embassy spokeswoman said.

Mohammed Imran Khan, 46

Khan, originally from India, was known as Imran Bhai to family and friends. He was a hard worker with three businesses including the Indian Grill restaurant and takeaway in Hills Rd, the Macah halal butchery, also in Hills Rd, and a cafe in St Albans, run by his wife. He died at the Linwood Masjid and is survived by his wife and 15-year-old son. Long-time friend Sukhvinder Singh said he was a very kind and helpful man, well-loved in the Indian and Muslim communities. He was a regular for prayers at the mosque and often brought along food from his restaurant to share with everyone. He was especially known for his Biryani dish.

Linda Armstrong, 64

Armstrong grew up in West Auckland. She moved to Christchurch in recent years to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. Her nephew Kyron Goose said: “Linda had a huge heart and what little she had, she was more than happy to share with her family and [the] Muslim community.”

Sayyad Milne, 14

Sayyad, a Cashmere High School student, grew up in Corsair Bay, near Lyttelton, He was killed in the attack on the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave. Milne was described by his half sister, Brydie Henry, as a good-natured, sporty teenager who loved football. He had dreams of being an international footballer, and played goalie.

Ashraf Ali, 61

Ali had moved to New Zealand 17 years ago, his elder brother Shabeer Ali told the Fiji Times. Ali has a son. His family described him as a loving and caring man who never missed any prayer at the mosque, according to the Fiji Times.

Syed Jahandad Ali, 34

Ali, from Pakistan, had worked as a senior dynamics developer at software company Intergen since 2012. He is survived by his wife, Amna, and children, Meesha (4), Aisha (2) and Mohammad (6 months old). His colleagues at Intergen have described him as “a kind and gentle man.”

Mian Naeem Rashid, aged in his 40s

His son Talha, was shot at the Masjid Al Noor and Rashid tried to wrest the gun from the shooter. He is believed to have died in Christchurch Hospital.

Tariq Omar, 24

Omar is remembered for his kind and humble nature. He is said to have got along with everybody, excelled at sport and in class. He is a former student of Cashmere High School in Christchurch. He had a Bachelor of Science from Canterbury University majoring in geology.

He was also involved with football, playing for FC Twenty 11 for the last two seasons, as well as coaching two teams for Christchurch United last year, the 15th and 9th grades.

Matiullah Safi, 55

He came to New Zealand from Afghanistan with a relative via India about nine years ago and worked at various jobs in Christchurch. He is survived by his wife, six sons and one daughter. He was killed at the Al-Noor mosque in Deans Ave. During his time in Christchurch he went back to visit his home country.

Farhaj Ahsan, 30

Ahsan was a father of two, a baby aged 7-months and a 2-year-old. He moved to New Zealand from Hyderabad, India, several years ago and obtained a masters degree at Auckland University, his uncle Idris Ansari said on Sunday. Before his death, Ahsan worked as a software engineer in Christchurch.

“He was definitely a very nice gentleman. We are shocked,” Ansari said.

Kamel Darwish, 38

Kamel immigrated to New Zealand from Jordan about six months ago and worked on a dairy farm in Ashburton, his older brother says. Kamel’s wife and three young children remain in Jordan and had applied for a visa to move to New Zealand.

Zuhair Darwish said he’d been in New Zealand since 2007 and convinced his younger brother to join him because it was a safe place to raise a family. Kamel rarely made it to the Masjid Al Noor and was “very excited” about praying there on Friday. “He was very honest and caring.”

Shahid Suhail, 35

Suhail was an engineer from Pakistan working as a production manager at resin manufacturer Hexion, in Christchurch. He moved to New Zealand in 2017 and lived in Auckland for a year before moving to Christchurch for a new job with his wife Asma and two young daughters aged 2.5 and 5. His wife Asma said he was a “very kind-hearted, smart and loving person. His daughters were his life.”

Abdelfattah Qasem, 60

Qasem, originally from Palestine, was the Muslim Association of Canterbury’s former secretary. He was an IT specialist who worked in Kuwait for much of his life. His family moved to New Zealand in the early 1990’s because of the first Gulf War, seeking a more secure place for his children. He lived on a small farm.

He has a wife and three daughters who are living in New Zealand, Australia and England. His daughter in Australia, Rawan, is due to give birth to Qasem’s first grandchild next month, which Qasem was very excited about.

Dr Mustafa Al-Asaad, who is a brother-in-law of Qasem’s daughter, said Qasem was “a very happy person, always smiling” who was “like an elder for the community”. He was well-known for supporting people who had just moved to Christchurch.

He was killed at the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave. Four of his close friends were also killed in the attack.

Musa Vali Suleman Patel, 60

Patel, the former Imam of the Lautoka Jame Masjid in Fiji, was visiting Christchurch to see his son. He is described as a “selfless” leader of the Fiji Muslim League.

“Hafiz Musa was a highly respected member of the Fiji Muslim League and served selflessly as an Imam, teacher, mentor and was much sought after as a powerful orator and speaker,” Fiji Muslim League Lautoka branch president Naved Khan said.

Patel is survived by his wife Saira Bibi Patel, three daughters and two sons.

Ramiz Arifbhai Vora, 28

Vora and his father Arif were killed in the attack on the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave.

Vora was originally from Gujarat, India but lived and worked in Christchurch, according to a member of the Indian community. He and his wife had just had a baby daughter in the week before the attack, the man said. It was their first child.

Ansi Alibava, 25

Alibava came to New Zealand from Kerala, India to pursue a Master of Agribusiness Management at Lincoln University.

She recently completed her degree, and was eagerly preparing for her graduation ceremony in May, a friend said.

Alibava was married to Abdul Nazer Ponnath Hamsa. She worked part-time as an intern at Lincoln Agritech and at Kmart Riccarton.

“The life Ansi and I had together, the plans we made, the family we hoped to build here, all vanished in a moment of senseless anti-immigrant rage,” Ponnath Hamsa said.

Alibava was from the southern Indian state of Kerala. She had hoped to secure a good job in New Zealand to support her family back in India, the friend said.

She was killed at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave.

Ozair Kadir, 24

Kadir, was a student pilot at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand. Originally from Hyderabad, India, he had been in Christchurch for about a year, according to a member of the Indian community. It is not yet clear which mosque he was fatally attacked in.

Arifbhai Mohamedali Vora, 58

Vora was in Christchurch to visit his son, Ramiz. The pair were killed in the attack on the Masjid Al Noor, on Deans Ave.

Ashraf El-Moursy Ragheb, 54

Ragheb came to New Zealand from Cairo in the late 1990s. He married Seham 14 years ago and they had two children, Salma, 13, and Yousef, 12. He owned his own Souvlaki shop for many years and lately worked as an employee in a new Souvlaki shop in Riccarton.

His family said he was a quiet man whose life was his work and home. His daughter Salma said her Dad liked taking her and Yousef for swimming lessons when he would sit in the spa. He was fond of animals and each day fed a group of stray cats who called at the back of the Souvlaki shop. They had been talking about getting a dog.

Due to his hours of work, Ragheb was not a regular at the Masjid Al Noor where he was praying with his wife Seham when he was shot. Seham escaped uninjured.

Talha Naeem, 21

Naeem was shot at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave. His father Naeem tried to wrest the gun from the shooter.

Haroon Mahmood, 40

Mahmood worked in banking in Pakistan and tutored in economics and statistics at Lincoln University from 2014-16.

He also lectured in business at Linguis International in Christchurch from 2014 until April 2017, and joined Canterbury College in May 2017. Dr Haroon Mahmood is survived by his wife and two children, aged 13 and 11.

Syed Areeb Ahmed, 26

Ahmed had recently moved to Christchurch from Karachi, Pakistan to work as a chartered accountant on secondment at PriceWaterhouseCooper to support his family. He was an only son. One of his uncles, Muhammad Muzaffar Khan, described him as deeply religious, praying five times a day.

Maheboob Allarakha Khokhar, 65

He was due to return home to Ahmedabad, India on Sunday after visiting his son Imran Khokhar. He died at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave.

Muhammad Maziq Mohd-Tarmizi, 17

Mohd-Tarmizi moved to New Zealand from Malaysia with his family about 18 months ago. He died at the Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave, where his father Mohd Tarmizi Shuib was also injured. His mother and younger brother escaped the gunfire. Haziq was in Year 12 at Burnside High School.

“[He was] a great young man who had the respect of his mates and teachers,” principal Phil Holstein said.

“Conscientious, self-motivated and just wanted to do well. Teachers have noted that he has grown in confidence in the short time he has been here. He was ready, as one teacher said, to flourish.”

Hussein Moustafa, 70

He came to New Zealand from Egypt 20 years ago looking for a better life for his family.

A volunteer at the Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave, Moustafa renovated a building at the back of the property and converted it into a library for the community.

He planted a vegetable garden at the back of the mosque, "for the community to help themselves to", his son, Mohamed Moustafa, said.

"He would spend hours [at the mosque] every day."

"He always had a smile on his face. I try to think hard about a time when he was angry and I struggle.’’

His father was a fit man who did not like people to know his age, and he was keen on Greco-Roman wrestling.

"He would say, it doesn't matter how much you go to the gym, you're never going to be stronger than me."

"He was quite a jovial man who couldn't hurt a fly."

Hussein Moustafa was a "simple man", who never cared about luxuries and loved his old car. He was often upskilling, doing accounting, English and computing diplomas. He was proud to have three successful, professional children.

Mohamed Moustafa recalled one day his father was cleaning up around the mosque, as he often did, and found a pile of burial shrouds in a cupboard that had been forgotten about. His father conserved them and kept them safe in case they were ever needed. "It is most likely he was actually buried in them."

Hussein Moustafa is survived by his wife, Zahra Fathy, sons Mohamed, 34, Zeyad, 22, and daughter Arwa, 35.

He was “the kindest father-in-law a girl could ask for”, daughter-in-law Nada Tawfeek said.

“I don’t think anyone has ever seen him in a bad mood. He loved the mosque, he loved tidying it, he loved nourishing it and he was always a welcoming face there.

“He was always joking, always happy, always positive. He trusted people’s goodwill and wouldn't hurt a soul.”

Amjad Hamid, 57

Hamid was a Senior Medical Officer and Rural Hospital Consultant at Hawera Hospital. Prior to that he was a senior doctor with a special interest in cardiology, and worked for Canterbury DHB and as a locum at other DHBs around the country. He spent much of his life in Qatar, and trained as a doctor in Syria. He moved to Christchurch in 1995, and continued to live there, commuting to Hawera.

His wife, Hanan, learned of the attack while about to board a flight from Melbourne to Christchurch. "He was hard working, down to earth, passionate; He was a good husband and a good father. He loved and respected everybody," she said.

He was well-liked for his kindness, compassion and sense of humor. He was a hard working doctor, deeply committed to caring for his patients, and a thoughtful team member who was supportive of all staff. When he returned to Hawera Hospital he often brought fresh baklava from a bakery in Christchurch for everyone.

Mounir Soliman, 68

Soliman was a design engineer and quality manager at Scotts Engineering, Christchurch, since 1997. He was killed at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave.

Scotts spokeswoman Glenda Hillstead said Soliman was a “lovely man” who would be missed for his personality as well as his vital role in the company. He never missed Friday prayers, would go to the mosque every day and also prayed at work.  He had no children and is survived by his wife Ekram. They frequently travelled to Egypt.

Zeeshan Raza, 38

Raza, a mechanical engineer, moved to New Zealand from Karachi, Pakistan last year. He lived in Auckland before moving to Christchurch for work in December. Raza and his parents, Ghulam Hussain and Karam Bibi, were killed at the Linwood Masjid. Raza is survived by his younger sister who lives in Karachi.

Ghulam Hussain, 66

He is the father of Zeehan Raza and husband of Karam Bibi. Hussain and Bibi traveled to New Zealand to visit their son in February. The trio were killed at the Linwood Masjid. Hussain is survived by his daughter.

Karam Bibi, 63

She is the mother of Zeehan Raza and the wife of Ghulam Hussain. Bibi and Hussain traveled to New Zealand to visit their son in February. The trio were killed at the Linwood Masjid. Bibi is survived by her daughter.

Abdukadir Elmi, 65

Sheikh Abdukadir was a well known figure in the Christchurch muslim community. He survived the civil war in Somalia, and came to New Zealand around 10 years ago with his family.

He was “a giant in the community” and among “the most recognisable faces in the mosque,” his son, Said, wrote in a tribute to his father in a Facebook post.

“Kids would run to grab his chair when they heard the noise of his cane hitting against the ground upon his entrance,” he wrote.

“He was loved for his generosity and his fundraising efforts.

“My dad was killed by a terrorist thug who nearly massacred half of my family if it wasn't for the grace of God. He died as martyr in the place he loved most. Rest in peace my beloved father.”

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, five sons and four daughters.

Mohsin Al-Harbi, 63

Al-Harbi lived in New Zealand for 25 years and  worked in water desalination. Son Feras Al-Harbi said his father was a part-time imam, who sometimes gave the Friday sermon. Mohsin’s wife Manal searched for her husband in the chaos and had a heart attack and needed hospital treatment.

Osama Adnan Youssef Kwaik, 37

He was born in Gaza and was raised in Egypt as the son of refugees. He was a civil engineer who studied at the American University in Cairo, before moving to Christchurch in 2017 with his wife and two children. While in Christchurch, he had another child, who is a New Zealand citizen.

His brother, Youssef Abu Kwaik, who lives in California, described Osama as a “kind and decent man” who loved his family and his adopted city of Christchurch.  He was in the process of applying for New Zealand citizenship.

Mojammel Hoq, 30

Hoq had been in Christchurch for more than three years and worked in health care. He planned to return home to Bangladesh in September to marry his girlfriend, start a family and open a dental clinic for those less fortunate. Abdul Hai said Hoq, his cousin, was “a friend and brother” to him.

“He was such a nice human being; he was humble and competent. He always appreciated all kinds of people ... [this has] left a big hole in our hearts.”

Mohammed Omar Faruk, 36

Faruk leaves behind a wife who is three months pregnant and living in Bangladesh, his friend Md Mehedi said. Faruk was a great person who always had a “peaceful smile on his face and a genuine helpful heart”, Mehedi said of his former flatmate.

Faruk, a welder, came to New Zealand more than three years ago. He was married in Bangladesh in 2017, Mehedi said, and had planned to finish building a house in the country and return there to start a business. He had almost finished the house and was “close to fulfilling his dream to live a happy life with his joint family”, Mehedi said.

Faruk had recently returned to New Zealand after a trip back to Bangladesh, and was “so excited” he was going to be a father.

Muhammed Abdusi Samad, 66

Originally from Bangladesh, Muhammed was a lecturer at Lincoln University and frequently led prayers at the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave.

Muse Nur Awale, 77

Awale had been in Christchurch for about 30 years, former Muslim Association president Mohammed Jama said. Awale was married to Muhubo Ali Jama and had no children. Until last year, he was a marriage celebrant for the Muslim Association of Canterbury. He previously taught religious studies at Hagley School and the Al Noor mosque.

Ahmed Gamaluddin Abdel-Ghany, 68

Abdel-Ghany and his wife and son immigrated from Egypt in 1996. Abdel-Ghany had previously worked in the navy and at a hotel as a rooms division manager.  Finding a job in Christchurch wasn't easy for Ahmed Gamaluddin Abdel-Ghany at first, eventually taking a job in a steel company. He also ran a souvlaki shop with his wife and a food truck in Cathedral Sq called Egyptian Donuts.

In an Instagram post, his son Omar described him as “a great man with the purest of hearts”.

“Not one person out there can say he ever faulted them in anyway. He was kind, gentle, compassionate, generous and extremely loving to all those around him.”

Ashraf Ali, 58

Ali lived in Fiji, where he ran a taxi company in Suva. He came to New Zealand around twice a year to visit family, and arrived in Christchurch around one week before his death at Al Noor Mosque. His wife died around six months ago, his brother, Ramzan, said. His first wife, with whom Ali had a daughter, died four years ago. Ramzan was in the mosque during the massacre and hid amid the bodies. He learned his brother had died after watching the gunman’s video of the attack and recognising his body. Ashraf “was a gentleman,” Ramzan said, who was gentle and even tempered.

Mohamad Moosid Mohamedhosen, 54

Mohamedhosen was born in Mauritius and came from the town of Vacoas.

Mauritius is an island off the coast of Madagascar, with a population of around 1.2 million. A minority of its population are Muslim.

Mohamedhosen had lived in England, where he started a graphic design company, according to company records.

He lived in Linwood, and was killed at the Linwood Islamic Centre.

His family has flown to New Zealand, and declined to comment. His funeral was held on Thursday morning.

Zakaria Bhuiya, 34

Bhuiyan, originally from Bangladesh, worked in Christchurch as a welder. He was killed on his birthday at the Al Noor Mosque. Bhuiya had taken the day off work to celebrate, according to a fundraising page set up by his employer, AMT Mechanical Services, to benefit his family. Bhuiya had been working in New Zealand to provide for his family, including his wife, back in Bangladesh.

“He lived on the bare basics in order to maximise the money he could send home to support his family,” the fundraising page said. His body was identified on Thursday morning, according to a friend.

Zekeriya Tuyan, 46

Zekeriya Tuyan

Tuyan, from Turkey, died in hospital on May 2, seven weeks after the terror attack. The father-of-two had been in intensive care at Christchurch Hospital after being shot at the Masjid Al Noor. He battled fevers and infections before dying following surgery.

The name of a four-year-old child who had been reported dead by his uncle was removed after this subsequently emerged as incorrect.

People leaving floral tributes at the Kilbirnie mosque under the guard of armed police a day after  the Christchurch mosque attacks. (ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF)

People leaving floral tributes at the Kilbirnie mosque under the guard of armed police a day after the Christchurch mosque attacks. (ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF)

People leaving floral tributes at the Kilbirnie mosque under the guard of armed police a day after the Christchurch mosque attacks. (ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF)

PHOTO BY JOSEPH JOHNSON / STUFF

JOSEPH JOHNSON / STUFF

JOSEPH JOHNSON / STUFF

Friday prayers at the Masjid Al Noor were scheduled to start at 1:30pm and run for about 40 minutes, but there were still a few cars pulling into the carpark as prayers began.

There were about 300 worshippers gathering –  New Zealanders whose places of birth included Afghanistan, India, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, the Philippines, Jordan, Turkey, Malaysia – but also some visitors from abroad, including Bangladeshi cricketers who were due to play the Black Caps at the Hagley Oval the next day. Shoes were lined up on shelves at the door, and those inside were wearing socks, or were barefoot.

At Linwood Masjid, 5km to the east, more than 100 more worshippers were also coming together.

A couple of minutes after prayers began, a man got into his car in an industrial park just a couple of hundred metres to the west of the Masjid Al Noor and launched a Facebook livestream. He’d just published internet links to a document outlining his murderous racist ideology; now he was going to broadcast a video of the atrocities he would commit in their name.

A survivor from the shooting comes through the cordon at Linwood Avenue in Christchurch. (STACY SQUIRES/STUFF)

A survivor from the shooting comes through the cordon at Linwood Avenue in Christchurch. (STACY SQUIRES/STUFF)

A survivor from the shooting comes through the cordon at Linwood Avenue in Christchurch. (STACY SQUIRES/STUFF)

To reach to the mosque by road, the alleged killer had to take a loop: south down Mandeville Street and Blenheim Rd, then back north up Deans Ave, which runs along the western edge of Hagley Park in central Christchurch. The drive took six-and-half minutes. He pulled up near the mosque and selected his weapons from the five guns in the boot of his car (which included two semi-automatic weapons). He was shooting – and still broadcasting – before he reached the front door.

The livestream ran for 16-and-a-half minutes before abruptly going dead, but in that time, the alleged killer had walked through the mosque, firing hundreds of rounds at people young and old, male and female. Midway during the massacre he returned to his car and picked up some new weapons before returning and shooting again and again at both the wounded and the already dead. He then walked back to his car – shooting indiscriminately up and down the street – and started driving towards his next target: Linwood Masjid.

Armed police on Linwood Ave among members of the public after the Linwood mosque came under attack. (JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF)

Armed police on Linwood Ave among members of the public after the Linwood mosque came under attack. (JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF)

Armed police on Linwood Ave among members of the public after the Linwood mosque came under attack. (JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF)

After six appalling minutes, the shooter had gone, and in his wake, stunned and blood-covered survivors wandered into the street from the Al Noor mosque. By now, 41 people were dead or dying, and a similar number had been injured. One survivor would later show a Stuff reporter his cellphone log, showing he made a 111 call at 1:41pm. Police would later confirm they received their first call at 1:41pm and say the first armed officers arrived six minutes later.

The details of the alleged gunman’s attack on the Linwood mosque are less clear, not least because the appalling livestream video finally, mercifully, went dead while he was still driving there, but according to one witness, worshippers didn’t immediately react when the shooter arrived.

Farhaan Farheez, who moved to New Zealand from Fiji in 2015, said: “I didn't know what a gun sounded like. It is customary when we are praying not to pay attention to the outside world. Gunshots kept happening and people kept praying.”

But Farheez then saw several people getting shot by a man standing at the entrance with a big gun. Eight Linwood mosque worshippers died: seven at the scene and one later in hospital. Many others were injured.

A victim is attended by emergency services at the Deans Ave mosque. (GEORGE HEARD/STUFF)

A victim is attended by emergency services at the Deans Ave mosque. (GEORGE HEARD/STUFF)

A victim is attended by emergency services at the Deans Ave mosque. (GEORGE HEARD/STUFF)

Not long after leaving the second mosque, the alleged gunman was arrested by police on Brougham St, south of the city centre. A bystander filmed some of the arrest, during which police cars appeared to ram a gold Subaru before dragging the driver out at gunpoint. Police would later say they found two explosives in that car, which were disabled by a bomb disposal unit.

Two other people were arrested at cordons, but as of Saturday afternoon, police hadn’t yet worked out if they had any connection to the terrorist attacks. An unconnected fourth person was arrested outside Papanui High School, because they had a gun with them while picking up a child, but was later released.

Looking at the rough timeline that is starting to be pieced together from media reports, social media postings and police press releases, it seems remarkable that so much carnage could be caused in such a short time. The first attack began around 1:40pm. It was 2:05pm when schools and tertiary institutions started sending out text messages announcing they were in a security lockdown. It was 2:11pm when police put out a press release saying there was a serious and “evolving” situation. Initially, Police said they had arrested the alleged shooter 36 minutes after being called to the first mosque – about 2:17pm. Days later they revised their timeline, putting the arrest back to 2:02pm.

Distressed women fear the worst for their loved ones in the attack (MARTIN VAN BEYNEN/STUFF)

Distressed women fear the worst for their loved ones in the attack (MARTIN VAN BEYNEN/STUFF)

Distressed women fear the worst for their loved ones in the attack (MARTIN VAN BEYNEN/STUFF)

The immediate crisis in Christchurch continued for much longer of course, with lockdowns and security scares – and speculation about the existence of more than one gunman – continuing into the evening.

And for injured survivors, for relatives of the dead, for passersby and medical staff attending to victims, for Muslims around the country and around the world, for New Zealanders in general, for anyone anywhere in the world who has a heart, the full horror of the afternoon was just beginning to sink in.

A victim of the shooting at Linwood Ave mosque in Christchurch is tended to by the emergency services. (STACY SQUIRES/STUFF)

A victim of the shooting at Linwood Ave mosque in Christchurch is tended to by the emergency services. (STACY SQUIRES/STUFF)

A victim of the shooting at Linwood Ave mosque in Christchurch is tended to by the emergency services. (STACY SQUIRES/STUFF)

Yet the fact remains that in just over half an hour, one murderous individual left 50 people dead and a 51st fatally wounded, many dozens injured, and shattered forever New Zealand’s illusion that it might remain immune to the lethal terrorist attacks that had, until now, seemed like something that always happened somewhere else, far far away.

PHOTO BY ROSS GIBLIN / STUFF

ROSS GIBLIN / STUFF

ROSS GIBLIN / STUFF

The astonishing reality of events built - steadily but swiftly - to a shocking crescendo.

At first, it was “a significant incident” police were responding to.

Then, it became clear the incident was centred on a mosque. Gun shots had been heard. Roads were being closed. People had seen bodies lying on the ground. There was an active shooter. The Linwood mosque was also affected.

Media, including Stuff, began reporting on the number feared dead. Seven, then nine. Then 30, or more.

After an initial appearance where she described this as one of the country’s darkest days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern broke the news of 40 people confirmed dead. It would later rise to 50 and seven weeks later to 51.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a parliament press conference in response to Christchurch Mosque terror attack. (ROSA WOODS/STUFF)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a press conference at Parliament soon after the terror attacks. (ROSA WOODS/STUFF)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a press conference at Parliament soon after the terror attacks. (ROSA WOODS/STUFF)

“What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence,” she said.

Three people connected to the attack were in custody, Ardern said.

“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.”

Christchurch, a city shaken by tragedy of a completely different kind eight years earlier, was once again shocked to its core.

“I would never have expected anything like this to happen in Christchurch,” the city’s mayor, Lianne Dalziel said.

“I know that everyone is shocked.”

Members of the Christchurch muslim community met with the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Phillipstown. Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziellistens as concerns are discussed. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

The day after the attack, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel met with members of the city's Muslim community at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in the suburb of Phillipstown. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

The day after the attack, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel met with members of the city's Muslim community at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in the suburb of Phillipstown. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

An hours long lock-down of schools finally ended just after 6pm. But Police Commissioner Mike Bush urged people to stay off the streets in the central city.

The message of vigilance extended across the country for New Zealanders of the Islamic faith. Stay away from all mosques, Bush urged.

Muslim Association of Marlborough chairman Zayd Blissett said he found out about the shooting from a text message sent by the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand at 2.04pm, saying “50 shot” during Friday prayers in Christchurch.

Members of the public pay their respects and offer messages of support at the Hamilton Mosque following the Christchurch terror attack. (TOM LEE/STUFF)

Members of the public pay their respects and offer messages of support at the Hamilton Mosque following the Christchurch terror attack. (TOM LEE/STUFF)

Members of the public pay their respects and offer messages of support at the Hamilton Mosque following the Christchurch terror attack. (TOM LEE/STUFF)

“I'm just heartbroken. In fact I’m sitting here crying,” he said.

This is New Zealand. This can’t happen here.
Zayd Blissett, Muslim Association of Marlborough chairman

The Imam of the Avondale Islamic Centre in Auckland said his “heart was shaking”.

Christchurch MP Megan Woods comforts one of those attending the meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Phillipstown. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

Christchurch MP Megan Woods comforts one of those attending the meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Phillipstown. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

Christchurch MP Megan Woods comforts one of those attending the meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Phillipstown. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

As ever, social media was overflowing with a mixture of numbed astonishment, sombre memorial and raw anger.

There quickly emerged a campaign to keep the alleged shooter’s live stream video of the slayings off the internet and to not mention his name.

But hours after it had appeared live, the video was still being uploaded and re-uploaded by other people onto YouTube.

Spark, Vodafone and the country’s third largest internet provider Vocus agreed to block their customers accessing three overseas websites, which had provided access to the video.

Google, the owner of YouTube, said on Saturday it had removed thousands of videos related to the incident. Facebook too said it was working to remove offending videos as quickly as it was made aware of them.

Questions began proliferating about both the ability of the internet behemoths to control the content on their platforms and their broader role in the radicalisation of people who commit violent acts.

“The financial incentives are in play to keep content first and monetisation first. Any dealing with the negative consequences coming from that is reactive,” said Becca Lewis, a researcher at Stanford University and the think tank Data & Society.

Alice Marwick, a communications professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said: “If you are going to reap the advantages of having a massive platform - of tremendous ad revenues, huge user bases and incredible political influence - then you also have a responsibility to govern that platform.”

A floral tribute on the fence of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (JASON SOUTH/STUFF)

A floral tribute on the fence of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (JASON SOUTH/STUFF)

A floral tribute on the fence of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (JASON SOUTH/STUFF)

New Zealand woke on Saturday morning to find the world’s gaze upon it.

This had really happened in our country. The New York Times, the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN - they were all leading their websites and bulletins with the news of a terrorist attack in Christchurch, in which 51 people had died.

British Prime Minister Theresa May gave her “deepest condolences” for the “horrifying terrorist attack”. Pope Francis denounced the “senseless acts of violence”. The Queen said she had been “deeply saddened by the appalling events”. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered his nation’s thoughts and prayers for “our Kiwi cousins.” The leaders of France, Pakistan, Turkey, Canada, Norway and the European Union said similar things. And then there was US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s first move was to tweet a link to far-right website Breitbart early in the aftermath of the shooting. The tweet was subsequently deleted. He later spoke with Ardern and declared: “We stand in solidarity with New Zealand …  any assistance the U.S.A. can give, we stand by ready to help. We love you New Zealand!”

But when Trump was asked if he thought that white supremacy was “a serious growing problem”, he replied: “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people.”

Ardern was asked if she agreed with Trump on this and replied swiftly No”.

Ardern wasted little time confirming there would be law changes as a result of the attack.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with members of the Moslem community after mass shooting at the two Christchurch mosques. (SUPPLIED)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with members of the Muslim community after mass shooting at the two Christchurch mosques. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with members of the Muslim community after mass shooting at the two Christchurch mosques. (DAVID WALKER/STUFF)

“Today as the country grieves we are seeking answers,” she said.

“Our duty is to keep everyone here safe. We have failed here and questions will be asked.”

The main suspect had a gun licence and had obtained firearms legally, she said. Five guns were used in the attack including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns. A lever action firearm was also found. More work would be done to trace the firearms but one thing was clear, she said: “Our gun laws will change.”

There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017. Now is the time for change.
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister

Members of the public pay their respects and offer messages of support at the Hamilton Mosque following the Christchurch terror attack. (TOM LEE/STUFF)

Members of the public pay their respects and offer messages of support at the Hamilton Mosque following the Christchurch terror attack. (TOM LEE/STUFF)

Members of the public pay their respects and offer messages of support at the Hamilton Mosque following the Christchurch terror attack. (TOM LEE/STUFF)

Less than 24 hours after the first bullets had been fired, the alleged shooter Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared in court.

He faced only one murder charge, but police said more charges were likely.

New Zealanders, meanwhile, were starting to find more ways of expressing their shock and solidarity with the Muslim community.

In London, the High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae led a waiata at Hyde Park Corner, where hundreds of expats gathered.

Under the watchful eye of an armed policeman, a pair of sisters laid flowers at a mosque in Invercargill.

Sisters put flowers at the entrance of the mosque in Invercargill. (JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF)

Sisters put flowers at the entrance of the mosque in Invercargill. (JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF)

Sisters put flowers at the entrance of the mosque in Invercargill. (JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF)

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Deans Avenue mosque. Thousands more were expected at vigils across the country.

Jofe Woods was walking on a nearby street with her 8-month-old son Joshua when the shootings unfolded. Having moved to Christchurch nine years ago from the Phillipines, where terror attacks arising from religious tensions are more common, Woods said she feared further shootings.

“I’m scared to walk down the street now because I’m coloured and I’m an immigrant,” Woods said.

“I never thought this would happen here. I thought this was a peaceful country and it will never be the same.”

“The question is, is he [the shooter] alone or is he part of a group?”

You can post a message of condolence on this page.

You can make a donation to Victim Support’s Christchurch shooting fund via their givealittle page.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are services to help:

1737, Need to talk?
Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor

Depression.org.nz
0800 111 757 or text 4202

Lifeline
0800 543 354

Suicide Crisis Helpline
0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Kidsline
0800 54 37 54 for people up to 18 years old. Open 24/7.

Youthline
0800 376 633, free text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz, or find online chat and other support options here.

Rural Support Trust
0800 787 254

Samaritans
0800 726 666

What's Up
0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling available Monday-Friday, noon–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

thelowdown.co.nz
Web chat, email chat or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand
0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness
0800 732 825.

This feature was made possible by the work of Stuff journalists throughout New Zealand who covered the Christchurch shooting. Additional reporting comes from The Washington Post.

VICTIMS REPORTING
Martin van Beynen, Blair Ensor, Sam Sherwood, Adele Redmond, Oliver Lewis and Cecile Meier

WORDS
Adam Dudding and John Hartevelt

DESIGN AND LAYOUT
Suyeon Son and Kathryn George

MAP GRAPHIC
John Harford

EDITOR
John Hartevelt