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 was a talented man, a beloved father and grandfather who had come to Christchurch from Afghanistan 40 years before his death. He ran the Afghan Association in Christchurch. He was fatally shot  at the Masjid Al Noor 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.”

Nabi is survived by his wife, four sons and one daughter.

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 and his family had fled civil war in Syria, living in a Jordanian refugee camp for a number of years before moving to NZ in 2018. The family are members of the Circassian community, originating from the area around the Black Sea in eastern Europe.

Mustafa loved animals, particularly horses and worked as a farrier. He was known for his sensitive and gentle nature.

He was killed at the Masjid Al Noor alongside his 16-year-old son, Hamza. He is survived by his wife Salwa and a son and daughter.

Ali Mah’d Abdullah Elmadani, 66

Elmadani was a retired engineer. He and his wife immigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates in 1998. He valued strength and patience, his family said.

Ali Elmadani left behind a wife, one son, and three daughters.

Atta Mohammad Ata 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”.

“You met me with a smile, introduced me to the group, and made me feel welcome,” said football player Elliot Collier, about the first time he met Elayyan.

“Most people don’t do that, Atta. It takes someone rare to treat people with that kind of empathy. But thats who you were. You were just being you.”

He’d invested the last seven  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 shot dead as she returned to the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave to check on her husband Farid, after getting some children to safety. Husna and her husband of 24 years, were in separate rooms inside the Al Noor Mosque when the attack began.

Farid Ahmed, who is paraplegic after a crash in Nelson nearly 20 years ago, quickly headed for the exit.

Meanwhile his wife and a group of women took some children out to Deans Ave to safety as another group of women hid in a toilet inside the mosque.

Once the children were safe she went back to the mosque to check on her husband. As she made her way towards the mosque the mother-of-one was shot dead on the footpath.

Farid Ahmed said his wife was a “very courageous and caring” person and a “dedicated wife”.

“We worked as a team, we were extremely happy.”

Losing her was a “big loss” for him and their 15-year-old daughter.

“Everything hurts, I’m feeling for her, I’m feeling for all the people hurt and I’m feeling for the whole of New Zealand.”

Four years into their marriage Farid Ahmed was involved in a serious crash in Nelson. He was transferred immediately to Christchurch Hospital.

“The prognosis was very bad. She was with me, holding on, supporting me and then with her support and other people’s help I came out of that situation.”

Junaid Ismail, 36

Ismail 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. 

Customers and suppliers describe Junaid as a gentle, humble person who treated everyone respectfully. Zahid said he and family friends would continue the business which has been part of the Hornby community for over three decades. 

Hamza Mustafa, 16

Hamza, a Cashmere High School student, was the son of Khaled Mustafa, who was also killed. Hamza came to Christchurch with his family in 2018.

He was a keen horse rider and was well known in the equestrian community. Hamza, who celebrated his birthday only two days earlier, was on the phone to his mother when he died.

“Everyone loved Hamza, very caring, very polite,” his mother, Salwa Tsay, said.

“He was the most wonderful boy… Everything good that you can imagine in this world was in my Hamza.”

Hussein Al-Umari, 35

Al-Umari was a regular at the Masjid Al Noor where he was killed. Al-Umari’s family moved to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates 22 years ago. His mother, Janna Ezat, said her son was full of life and always put the needs of others before his own.

He was an exercise enthusiast who loved taking long walks, sometimes several times a day. He also loved to travel. He previously worked for VBase and in the travel industry.

Mucaad Ibrahim, 3

Mucaad, was born in Christchurch, though his family is from Somalia. He was with his father and brother at the Masjid Al Noor when he was killed. His father and brother escaped. 

He was a clever boy, who could already read sections of the Quran. He loved his dad and his brothers, and enjoyed being in the Masjid. Every Friday night, he would watch his family play football at Hagley Park. He was “energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot,” his brother, Abdi, said.

Lilik Abdul Hamid, 57

Hamid moved to Christchurch permanently in 2003 to work as an aircraft engineer at Air New Zealand. A family friend said Hamid was a kind-hearted man, willing to help others no matter their nationality or religion.

“He was like a father or a go-to person for most Indonesian people in Christchurch and I believe all Indonesians in New Zealand know him as well.”

He worshipped regularly at the Masjid Al Noor were he was killed. He is survived by his wife, Nina, and their two children.

Mohammed Imran Khan, 46

Khan 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 recently opened 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 kind and helpful man, well-loved in the Indian and Muslim communities. His cousin Mohammed Mubashir Khan said, “I used to think, 'how can he do this much by himself’, opening his store, managing staff....I admired him.”

He was a regular at the mosque for prayers and often brought along food from his restaurant to share. He was especially known for his biryani.

Linda Armstrong, 64

Armstrong grew up in West Auckland, moving  to Christchurch in recent years to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. 

It was through her volunteer work with refugees in south Auckland that she converted to Islam and was given the title “Sister Linda”.

She befriended many travellers, immigrants and refugees, opening her home, her heart and her kitchen. Her family said she loved showing parts of New Zealand to visitors or immigrants and helping them to settle into their new home.

“She was a mentor for many Islamic women and would mediate between disagreeing parties,” her brother, Tony Gosse, said. “She always had an open ear and a shoulder to lean on.”

Armstrong was at the Linwood Masjid when she was shot in the chest and died, shielding a friend with her body.

Sayyad Ahmad 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 sister, Brydie Henry, as a good-natured, sporty teenager who loved football. He had dreams of being an international footballer, and played goalie. His sister, Cahaya, said: “He was a loving and kind brother and will be greatly missed.”

Ashraf Ali, 61

Ali moved to New Zealand 17 years ago from Fiji. His daughter, Zeba Ali, said the father-of-two last worked as a slaughterman at Brinks Chicken preparing halal chicken.

Ashraf was devout and never missed prayers at the Masjid Al Noor, she said.

“That was like his second home . . . he adored going there actually, nothing would stop him going.”

She described her father as “a very kind, and very giving man”.

“He wouldn’t have hatred in his heart to say anything bad about anyone.”

He was buried alongside several of his friends.

Syed Jahandad Ali, 34

Ali had worked as a senior dynamics developer at software company Intergen since 2012. He had studied at NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi. Ali was a family man, who moved to New Zealand because he thought it would be the perfect place to raise a family.

Ali had “deeply touched the lives of his friends, colleagues and wider technology community through his knowledge and skills,” Intergen said in a statement.

He is survived by his wife, Amna, and children, Meesha (4), Aisha (2) and Mohammad (6 months old).

Naeem Rashid, aged in his 40s

Rashid will be remembered as one of the heroes of the Masjid Al Noor. He rushed the gunman and tried to wrest the gun from him. He died in Christchurch Hospital.

His son Talha, 21, was also killed at the mosque.

Originally from the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, he worked in banking and moved to New Zealand several years ago to settle in Christchurch. He worked as a teacher and more recently for the Kiwi Institute of Training and Education.

“He was always helping people and he loved everyone,” his wife, Ambreen Naeem, said.

“He was an open-hearted man, he was compassionate.”

Rashid is survived by his wife and their two sons.

Tariq Omar, 24

Omar was a football coach, who had most recently coached an under-9s team.

He grew up in Christchurch, and was a student at Cashmere High School before studying geology at the University of Canterbury.

He was close to his family, particularly his three siblings.

“When the four of us were together we’d always be crying with laughter at some point,” his sister, Qariah, said.

Omar died at the Masjid Al Noor.

Matiullah Safi, 55

Safi came to New Zealand via India about nine years ago, and worked at various jobs.

He was a devout man and a regular at the Masjid Al Noor. He was well known in Christchurch’s small Afghani community.

Before coming to Christchurch, his brother had been killed in the war in Afghanistan.

He is survived by his wife, six sons and one daughter.

Farhaj Ahsan, 30

Ahsan was a father-of-two, a baby aged 7 months and a 2-year-old. He is also survived by his wife. He moved to New Zealand from Hyderabad, India, several years ago and obtained a masters degree at Auckland University. Before his death, Ahsan worked as a software engineer in Christchurch.

“He is a very nice and sweet person,” his friend, Abdul Feroze, said.

“He was always helpful to his friends. It’s very sad that we lost such a charming guy.”

He died in the Masjid Al Noor.

Kamel Moh’d Kamel Darwish, 38

Darwish immigrated to New Zealand about six months before the attack and worked on a dairy farm in Ashburton.

He was encouraged to come to New Zealand by his brother, Zuhair, and left his family in Jordan with the idea they would join him later. They had applied for a visa to move to New Zealand.

“He was very honest and caring,” Zuhair said.

Their mother, Suad Adwan, died of a heart attack shortly after her son’s burial.

Darwish is survived by his wife, Rana, and their three children.

He died in the Masjid Al Noor.

Muhammad Suhail Shahid, 35

Shahid 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 and 5. His wife said he was a “very kind-hearted, smart and loving person. His daughters were his life.” He was praying at the Masjid Al Noor when he was killed.

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 seeking a more secure place for his children during the Gulf War. 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 Qasem, gave birth to Qasem’s first grandchild in May

To honour his memory, she named her son Elias Alabdelfattah Al-Kubaisy.

“He loves helping people,” his wife, Siham, said.

“He is very kind and he always smiles. Cheeky, and handsome. He is very polite.”

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. Relatives said Patel was “a national icon, a recognisable face” and thousands attended his funeral in Auckland.

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

Musa’s wife Saira Bibi Patel was sitting near her husband at the mosque when the gunman opened fire but escaped uninjured. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons. 

Patel was killed at the Linwood Masjid Mosque.

Ramiz Arifbhai Vora, 28

Vora and his father Arif were killed in the attack on the Masjid Al Noor. Vora had become a father only five days before the attack. He only had the chance to hold his daughter once, and he was praying for her health when he was killed.

“He was so happy, he was deciding the name of his daughter and helping his wife,” Farheen Vahora, a family friend, said.

Vora worked at Tegel as a halal slaughterman and was described by friends as a “gentleman” who never missed prayers if he could help it.

Ansi Karippakulam Alibava, 25

Alibava came to New Zealand to pursue a Master of Agribusiness Management at Lincoln University. She recently completed her degree which was posthumously awarded at a graduation ceremony in May.

She was married to Abdul Nazer Ponnath Hamsa and 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 was outside the Masjid Al Noor.

Friends said she was bubbly and loveable.

Ozair Kadir, 24

Kadir, was a student pilot at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand. He had been in Christchurch for about a year, according to a member of the Indian community.

He wanted to become a commercial airline pilot, following in the footsteps of his older brother, the aviation academy said in a statement.

“Ozair’s presence will be sadly missed by all staff and students at the Academy.” He was killed at the Masjid Al Noor.

Arif Mohamedali Vora, 58

Vora was in Christchurch to visit his son, Ramiz, who had just become a father.

He and his wife had been in Christchurch for one month when he was killed, alongside his son, at the Masjid Al Noor.

They were buried together in Christchurch.

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 more recently had 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. 

Salma said her father 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 a regular at the Masjid Al Noor, and would often ride his bike there.

One witness of the shooting said when Naeem was shot, he fell on top of another worshipper, using his last words to urge them to stay still.

Naeem had just earned a job as an engineer, and was providing for his mother and his two brothers.

“He was the person who was very helpful”, said his mother, Ambreen.

“All his friends, everyone, said he was always telling them to be positive, and to do the right thing.”

His father, Naeem Rashid, was also killed in the mosque.

Haroon Mahmood, 40

Mahmood worked in banking in Pakistan and tutored in economics and statistics at Lincoln University between 2014 and 2016.

He also lectured in business at Linguis International in Christchurch from 2014 until April 2017, and joined Canterbury College in May 2017.

His family said they would remember his smile, warmth, humour, respect and dedication.

Mahmood is survived by his wife and two children, aged 13 and 11. He had completed a PhD in finance before his death at the Masjid Al Noor. His degree was accepted by his family at a ceremony in May.

Syed Areeb Ahmed, 26

Ahmed had recently moved to Christchurch from Karachi to work as a chartered accountant on secondment to PriceWaterhouseCoopers with the intention of supporting his family in Pakistan.

He was an only son.

“Areeb was a loved and respected member of our PwC family who lived our values every day,” the company said.

“His smile, warmth, dedication, respect and humour will be deeply missed.”

Ahmed was killed at the Masjid Al Noor.

Maheboob Allarakha Khokhar, 65

Khokhar was due to return home the weekend after the shootings.

He and his wife had been visiting their son, Imran who had taken them on a trip around the South Island.

“[The family] were really happy that his last days were here on holiday not at work,” his daughter-in-law said.

Khokhar was killed at the Masjid Al Noor.

Muhammad Maziq Mohd-Tarmizi, 17

Muhammad moved to New Zealand with his family about 18 months earlier. He died at the Masjid Al Noor, where his father Mohd Tarmizi Shuib was also injured. His mother and younger brother escaped the gunfire.

He was in Year 12 at Burnside High School, and was a bright student.

“[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 Mohammed Khali Moustafa, 70

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

A volunteer at the Al Noor mosque, 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.

Amjad Kaseem Hamid, 57

Hamid was a senior medical officer and rural hospital consultant at Hawera Hospital, and had previously worked as a senior doctor with the Canterbury DHB.

The cardiologist  had come to Christchurch from Qatar in 1995, and remained in the city even after gaining a job in Taranaki, preferring to commute.

“He was hard working, down to earth, passionate. He was a good husband and a good father. He loved and respected everybody,’’ his wife, Hanan, said.

His colleagues said he was well liked for his kindness, compassion and his sense of humour. He was a hard working doctor, deeply committed to caring for his patients, and a thoughtful team member who was supportive of all staff.

Hamid died at the Masjid Al Noor.

Mounir Guirgis Soliman, 68

Soliman, originally from Egypt, had been a design engineer and quality manager at Scotts Engineering, Christchurch, for two decades.

He never missed Friday prayers and would go to the mosque every day. He also prayed at work.

Soliman was a “lovely man,” who would be missed both for his personality and for his vital role in the company, a spokeswoman said.

He had no children and is survived by his wife, Ekram.

Soliman died at the Masjid Al Noor.

Zeeshan Raza, 38

Raza, a mechanical engineer, moved to New Zealand last year from Karachi. 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.

His younger sister, Mariam Gul, said she was very close to her older brother, who she described as a “cheerful person with a positive attitude” who always found a way to make her happy if she was upset.

“He called New Zealand a land of opportunities. He used to say it was like a paradise - a peaceful and beautiful place.”

Ghulam Hussain, 66

Hussain and his wife, Karam Bibi, came to New Zealand to visit their son in February.  

All three died together at the Linwood Masjid.

Their daughter, Mariam Gul, said her parents had been enjoying their time in New Zealand immensely.

She described her father as a “pious and virtuous” man who was a “true gentleman”.

“I don’t have words to praise his love for almighty God and his creatures.”

Karam Bibi, 63

Bibi had come to New Zealand with her husband, Ghulam Hussain, to see their son, Zeeshan Raza.

All three were killed at the Linwood Masjid.

Her daughter, Mariam Gul, said her mother was a “disciplined and organised lady.”

“She was a source of courage and patience in our family.”

Abdukadir Elmi, 65

Known as the Sheikh, Elmi 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 amongst “the most recognisable faces in the mosque,” his son, Said Elmi, said in a tribute.

“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.”

Abdukadir is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, five sons and four daughters. He died at Masjid Al Noor.

Mohsin Al-Harbi, 63

Al Harbi lived in New Zealand for 25 years and worked in water desalination.

His son, Feras, said his father was a part-time imam, who sometimes gave the Friday sermon. Mohsen’s wife Manal searched for her husband in the chaos and had a heart attack, needing hospital treatment.

Al Harbi had terminal cancer.

“He was a warm-hearted person who respected people of all races and all religions,” Feras said.

“His character was a simple one, but nevertheless he was well educated and well read. A linguist, he spoke Arabic, English, Greek, German and Hebrew. He devoured books, especially about the history of different civilisations.”

He is survived by his wife and five children.

Al Harbi died at the Masjid Al Noor.

Osama Adnan Youssef Abu Kwaik, 37

Born in Gaza, Kwaik 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, who lives in California, described Osama as a kind and decent man who loved his family and his adopted city of Christchurch.  

“I had never seen my brother happier, and I was grateful for New Zealand bringing joy to my beloved brother.

“He bought a car and got his driver’s licence. He had a new baby, an all New Zealand-born boy, who is not a refugee. This is how his life was before it ended.”

Abu Kwaik is survived by his wife and their three children. He died at the Masjid Al Noor.

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 the less fortunate.

“He was such a nice human being,” said his cousin, Abdul Hai.

“He was humble and competent. He always appreciated all kinds of people ... [this has] left a big hole in our hearts.” Hoq died at the Masjid Al Noor.

Mohammad Omar Faruk, 36

Faruk, a welder, came to New Zealand more than three years earlier. He was married in Bangladesh in 2017 and had planned to finish building a house in the country and return there to start a business.

His wife, Sanjida Neha lived in Bangladesh. She was three months’ pregnant when he died at the Masjid Al Noor and flew to Christchurch after the attack. She planned to raise their daughter in Christchurch, as this was Faruk’s dream..

He was a great person who always had a “peaceful smile on his face and a genuine helpful heart,” said his friend, Md Mehedi. 

Muhammed Abdus Samad, 66

Samad grew up in a poor, remote village in northern Bangladesh.

He studied animal science in Bangladesh, later becoming a professor at the same university.

He had gained his PhD in Christchurch, and helped set up the Masjid Al Noor, where he was later killed.

His son Toaha Muhammad, who lives in Bangledesh, said the mosque was his father’s second home. He tried to go the mosque five times a day and his voice was often the first voice worshippers heard as they arrived.

Samad’s long-time friend, Shaju Shahjahan, described him as “brilliant, kind, religious and reserved”.

He is survived by his wife and their three sons. Samad died at the Masjid Al Noor.

Muse Nur Awale, 77

Originally from Somalia, Awale had been in Christchurch for about 30 years, former Muslim Association president Mohammed Jama said.

He 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 Masjid Al Noor where he died.

Ahmed Gamal Eldin Abdel-Ghany, 68

Abdel-Ghany and his wife and son immigrated from Egypt in 1996.

He had previously been in the navy and had worked at a hotel as a rooms division manager.  Finding a job in Christchurch wasn’t easy and he eventually took a job at a steel company.

He also ran a souvlaki shop with his wife and a food truck in Cathedral Sq called Egyptian Donuts.

“[He was] a compassionate, loving, generous, giving man,” his son, Omar, said.

“He was never one to sit still. Some people would be happy to sit back and get the unemployment benefit, that was never him.” Abdel-Ghany died at the Masjid Al Noor.

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 about a week before his death at Masjid Al Noor.

His second wife had died around six months ago, his brother, Ramzan, said. His first wife, with whom Ali had a daughter, died four years ago.

Ashraf was a gentleman who was kind and even tempered, his brother said.

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 1.2m. A minority of its population are Muslim.

Mohamedhosen had lived in England, where he started a graphic design company. He had been in New Zealand for several years.

He lived in Linwood and was killed at the Masjid in Linwood.

Zakaria Bhuiya, 34

Bhuiya worked in Christchurch as a welder. 

He was killed on his birthday at the Al Noor Masjid.

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.

Zekeriya Tuyan, 46

Tuyan 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. Tuyan is survived by his wife and two sons, aged eight and four.

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.

Map timeline of shootings

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