'Man grabbed shooter and saved us all,' recalls a terror attack survivor

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New Zealand Mosque attack survivor recalls the incident
New Zealand Mosque attack survivor recalls the incident

Christchurch : An Indian-origin man who survived the deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand recalled how an unidentified man grabbed the shooter and prevented the incident from turning into a much bigger tragedy.

"We were in a small mosque - measuring about a hundred square metres - and when you have a gunman coming in and opening fire in such circumstances, your heart beats faster and you can't feel anything," Faisal Sayed, who has been living in New Zealand for over 10 years, told Radhika Naidu, a former colleague at NDTV. "But a friend and I witnessed this gentleman creep up behind the shooter and hold him until his gun dropped."

The heroic act by the unidentified man left the shooter with no option but to rush for the door.

"If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now. Hats off to that man; I will definitely try and look him up," he added.

The man, however, said that one incident will not change his feeling towards the adoptive country.

"I can't speak for anybody else, but I have been in this beautiful country for the last 10 years and I don't see my loved ones, my family or even my community facing any challenges. I will never be the one to pass judgment based on a single incident," explained Mr Sayed, who used to live in Mumbai before shifting to New Zealand.

So, did the thought of leaving the country not cross his mind at all? "Not an option," said Mr Sayed. "I love New Zealand, I love the people around here, and I have received more calls from Kiwi families and friends than anybody else. Even people I worked with over 10 years ago have been texting to find out if everything is alright."

At least 49 people were killed and over 20 were seriously injured in the terror attack at two mosques in New Zealand.