Survivor says 'hero' stopped New Zealand massacre by tackling shooter
© New Zealand Herald

A man who survived a deadly mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand on Friday recalled the moment that a “hero” tackled the gunman and wrestled away his weapon after he began opening fire on worshippers.

Syed Mazharuddin, who survived the shooting that took place in Christchurch's Linwood mosque, told The New Zealand Herald that he witnessed a young man “who usually takes care of the mosque” tackle the shooter. 

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"He saw an opportunity and pounced on [the gunman] and took his gun," Mazharuddin said.

Linwood is one of two mosques in downtown Christchurch where mass shootings took place on Friday. So far, at least 49 people are dead and more than 40 others seriously injured. 

Local officials have already charged one person and detained four others in the attack. 

"The hero tried to chase and he couldn't find the trigger in the gun ... he ran behind him but there were people waiting for him in the car and he fled,” he continued.

Mazharuddin told the Herald that the gunman opened fire on people who were praying in the mosque shortly after entering the place of worship. He said at least one of his friends was killed at the scene. 

"I ran out and then the police came and they didn't let me come back in again so I couldn't save my friend, he was bleeding heavily," he said.