Hero Grandpa Made Ultimate Sacrifice in New Zealand Mosque Shooting

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
March 18, 2019World News
Hero Grandpa Made Ultimate Sacrifice in New Zealand Mosque Shooting
Members of the muslim community lay flowers at the memorial wall at the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 17, 2019. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

A grandfather, trying to protect a mother and her quadriplegic son, was gunned down in the New Zealand mosque shootings on March 15, according to a report by the NBC News.

Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded in the attacks at two mosques in the city of Christchurch last week. Australian man Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, is the prime suspect in the shootings. Daoud Nabi, the deceased grandfather, was in one of the mosques targeted by the suspect.

The 71-year-old was described by his son, Omar Nabi, as a helpful man. Nabi wasn’t surprised to learn of his father’s attempt to help save those around him, according to NBC.

“I’m not sure how to deal with this. Forgiving is going to take time,” he told reporters outside the Christchurch court. Nabi‘s family left Kabul, Afghanistan, for New Zealand in the 1980s to flee the communist invasion.

The majority of the shooter’s victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

Young Victim in the Mosque

Another victim of the shooting was 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim, the youngest victim in the mass shooting. The boy was known for his intelligence and his relationship with his elders.

Abdi Ibrahim young NZ victim
In this undated photo supplied by Abdi Ibrahim, shows a photo of his three-year-old brother, Mucaad, who is the youngest known victim of the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019. (Abdi Ibrahim via AP)

When the gunman stormed into the mosque where Mucaad was sitting with his big brother and father, Mucaad’s youth left him vulnerable. In the chaos that ensued as people fled from the bullets, the boy became separated from his family.

On Sunday, his brother Abdi Ibrahim said that police had confirmed the worst: their beloved brother was dead. Each of the 50 lives lost in Friday’s shooting has left an aching wound across the close-knit city.

Abdifatah Ibrahim.
Abdifatah Ibrahim, center, and his brother Abdi, right, walk with an unidentified friend in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 17, 2019. Abdifatah and Abdi are the older brothers of three-year-old Mucaad, who is the youngest known victim of the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15. (Mark Baker via AP)

Suspected Shooter Obsessed with Video Games as a Teen

Tarrant was charged with murder on March 16. Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, he stood silently in the Christchurch District Court where he was remanded without a plea. He is due back in court on April 5 and police said he is likely to face further charges.

Friday’s attack, which New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called an act of terrorism, was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand. The country’s national security threat level has since been raised from low to high in the wake of the massacre.

The death toll rose to 50 after investigators found another victim as they removed bodies from the crime scenes, the country’s police commissioner said on Sunday.

Killing Spree Broadcasted Live

Footage of the attack at one of the mosques was allegedly broadcasted live on Facebook by Tarrant. The man is also reported to have sent a “manifesto” that detailed his intentions to politicians and media outlets just before the shooting. It is believed he also posted his writings online on related social media accounts.

The footage of the livestreamed attack, which most media outlets and social media platforms are working to remove from their websites, showed a man driving to the Al Noor mosque, entering, and shooting randomly at people with a semi-automatic rifle. Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay on the floor.

At one stage, the shooter returned to his car to change his weapons, and then re-entered the mosque to continue shooting. The camera attached to his head recording the massacre followed the barrel of his weapon, like some macabre video game.

Tarrant’s grandmother, Marie Fitzgerald, 81, told Australia’s 9News that the Tarrant she knew in high school seemed more interested in playing computer games than dating girls.

“He spent most of his time playing games on computers in and outs of computers and playing games,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t think girlfriends were on the agenda … getting married was too hard.”

Leaders from all around the world have condemned the horrific attack.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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