A Nigerian, Alabi Lateef was also a survivor of the massacre at Linwood Masjid, the second mosque attacked by white terrorist Brenton Tarrant. Lateef narrated how a worshipper at the mosque seized an empty rifle discarded by Tarrant and then used it to chase him away.

Lateef said he was praying with others when he heard the sound of gunfire.

“Straight away I stopped my prayer, I peek through the window and I found a person with, you know, machine gun and heavy dress,” he told news website Stuff. “By the time I peeked on the floor I see two, three dead bodies. Then realised oh, this must be something else. This is a terrorist attack.”

He told worshippers to duck down and then described how a “brother” decided to confront the attacker during a lull in the gunfire.

“By the time he got there (outside the mosque) the bullets were finished and the gun was used,” Lateef recounted.

The man, identified as Abdul Aziz an Afghan refugee, picked up the machine gun and smashed it into the gunman’s car windscreen. After the gunman ran away, Alabi returned to the mosque.

“I started picking up the bodies to know who was dead and who was alive.”

Lateef said he had never expected to experience a terrorist attack in New Zealand.

“I’m very sad for what has happened, but I believe this country is a peaceful country and I hope something good will happen after that and the security will become tighter.”

The Afghan’s action may have saved further casualties, as Tarrant was apprehended by two armed police officers not far from Linwood mosque soon afterwards while driving his car with a visibly smashed back window.