Two Muslims have been awarded New Zealand’s highest honor for civilian bravery for trying to stop terrorist gunman from killing worshippers in Christchurch mosques two years ago.
One of the men, awarded the New Zealand Cross, Dr. Naeem Rashid, was himself killed when he tried to tackle the terrorist attacker. The other recipient, Abdul Aziz, survived after dodging bullets and chasing the killer away.
“Dr. Rashid launched himself from his position and ran at the gunman,” government authorities wrote, ABC News reported.
“When Dr. Rashid was approximately 1 meter (3 feet) from him, the gunman swung the rifle around and shot Dr. Rashid in the shoulder. Dr. Rashid collided with the gunman, grabbing him and knocking him to the ground.”
The gunman then managed to get back up and shoot and kill Rashid, but the time allowed more worshippers to escape killing.
Abdul-Aziz was at Linwood Mosque when the terrorist arrived. Fighting with the terrorist, he managed to pick up one of the Christchurch attacker’s guns, confronted him, bringing the brutal rampage to an end.
“The gunman saw Mr. Aziz carrying the discarded rifle, dropped his gun and ran to his car,” authorities wrote.
“Mr. Aziz chased after him and, while the gunman was sitting in his car, threw the gunman’s discarded rifle at the back left window of the car, smashing it. The gunman drove off, with Mr. Aziz continuing to chase him for a time down Linwood Avenue.”
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