Christchurch killer's chilling five words to hero

 

The mosque hero who threw an Eftpos machine at Brenton Tarrant and chased the gunman down the street with his own rifle has confronted the "coward" for the second time.

Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah, an Australian citizen originally from Afghanistan, bravely rushed towards Tarrant as he fired on worshippers at the Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019, minutes after massacring more than 40 people at the nearby Al Noor mosque.

Delivering his victim impact statement on the third day of the 29-year-old's sentencing hearing in the Christchurch High Court on Wednesday, Mr Wahabzadah introduced himself and said to Tarrant, "You know the face ... the one who chase you out."

Mr Wahabzadah said while they were both Australians, he held the flag with peace and love while Tarrant held it "with hate and shame".

Tarrant had returned to his car in the mosque driveway after firing the initial shots.

Mr Wahabzadah, who had been praying close to the door when the shooting started, picked up the Eftpos machine and ran outside.

"I saw that coward come out with a bulletproof vest, army clothes, helmet with a camera in the front," he said.

"At first I thought it was somebody from the government trying to come for our protection, then this coward (said), 'Who the hell are you?', just started swearing at me. I threw the Eftpos machine at his head, then he started shooting at me."

Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah threw an Eftpos machine at Tarrant and chased him away from the Linwood mosque.Source:Supplied
Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah threw an Eftpos machine at Tarrant and chased him away from the Linwood mosque.Source:Supplied

Mr Wahabzadah dived in between two cars to avoid the gunfire. He picked up one of Tarrant's discarded rifles and as the Australian returned to his car to escape, Mr Wahabzadah threw the rifle and smashed his side window.

"When I smashed the window I could feel in his eyes fear for his own life," he said.

"He gave me the finger and told me, 'I f**king killed all of you.' That hurt me a lot because I didn't know how many people died inside."

Mr Wahabzadah picked up the rifle again and chased Tarrant's car down the street. He was initially arrested by police as they thought he was the shooter. "I don't blame the police," he said.

He was at the police station giving his statement when word came that Tarrant had been caught.

"I pleaded to the police on that day, please give me 15 minutes with in the cell with him," he said. "I want to see how much guts he got without a gun, but they refused."

Mr Wahabzadah told Tarrant he should "thank God on that day I didn't catch you".

"That would be different story - this government would save a lot of money," he said. "You should thank Allah I didn't catch you on that day. You will never forget these two eyes you run from."

Ahad Nabi called Tarrant weak and a ‘maggot’. Picture: John Kirk-Anderson/Pool/Getty Images
Ahad Nabi called Tarrant weak and a ‘maggot’. Picture: John Kirk-Anderson/Pool/Getty Images

Justice Cameron Mander stopped Mr Wahabzadah as he turned to leave.

"Before you go - I've seen the video, and I want to acknowledge your courage," he said, prompting applause from the courtroom.

A significant portion of Tarrant's sentencing has consisted of the reading of victim impact statements.

Justice Mander said on Monday more than 200 statements had been provided to the court.

Fifty-two statements were read in the first two days, with 89 in total read by the end of the Wednesday.

Tarrant faces the prospect of being the first person in the country's history to be given life without the possibility of parole on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty in March to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of committing a terrorist act for his attacks on the two mosques.

Earlier on Wednesday, the son of victim Haji Mohemmed Daoud Nabi, 71, called Tarrant a "maggot" and said his elderly father "would have broken you in half if you challenged him to a fight".

"But you are weak," Ahad Nabi said in his fiery statement.

"A sheep with a wolf's jacket on for only 10 minutes of your whole life. I'm strong, and you made me even stronger."

Mr Nabi said Tarrant's father "was a garbageman and you became trash of society". "He is ashamed of your identity - you deserve to be buried in a landfill," he said.

"A peasant like you will never change the human race. Your wish is to make this world a racist cult of one colour, but you will never succeed."

He asked that Tarrant be put "in mainstream prison and stop wasting taxpayer money on giving him special treatment and protection".

"I ask that this scum of the world never be allowed to walk free in his lifetime," he said.

The father of Sayyad Milne, 14, told killer Brenton Tarrant he forgave him.
The father of Sayyad Milne, 14, told killer Brenton Tarrant he forgave him.

Meanwhile, the father of a 14-year-old boy killed in attacks pleaded with the judge to send Tarrant "back to Australia where he came from" as part of his sentencing.

John Milne, whose son Sayyad Ahmad Milne was shot in the back of the head while he prayed at the Al Noor mosque, delivered a colourful and heartbreaking victim impact statement.

The retired teacher and labourer brought two small photos of his son, one for Justice Cameron Mander and one that he asked to be given to Tarrant.

"I've forgiven you, even though you murdered my 14-year-old son," Mr Milne told Tarrant.

"Not a single bullet hit and shattered me - I wasn't even there. But there is a huge hole in my heart which will only heal when I meet Sayyad again in heaven. I hope to see you there, too, Brenton, and if you get the chance I would ask you to say sorry to Sayyad. I'm sure he's forgiven you, too."

Mr Milne said he was a devout follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. "Only he could do what had to be done - he died for you, Brenton, the killer of my 14-year-old son," he said.

"I have one request for you, (Justice Mander). Please, as part of your sentencing, please send Brenton back to Australia where he came from."

Three-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim was the youngest victim of the attacks.
Three-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim was the youngest victim of the attacks.

 

On Wednesday, the court also heard from the family of Tarrant's youngest victim, three-year-old Mucaad Aden Ibrahim, who was shot twice in the Al Noor mosque as he clung to his father's leg.

Somali refugee Aden Diriye pointed his finger at Tarrant as his statement was read on his behalf. He said his son was "adored by all" and used to love distributing the Koran to worshippers at the mosque.

At home he would play with police toys and "would run around the house pretending to be a cop".

"We thought one day he might become a police officer," Mr Diriye said.

"You have killed my son and to me it is as though you have killed the whole of New Zealand. Know that true justice is waiting for you in the next life and that will be far more severe. I will never forgive you for what you have done."

Mucaad's sister Khadra Ibrahim, who lives in Western Australia, said in a statement provided to court that she had last been home to see her family in 2013 and never got a chance to meet her brother in person.

"Three weeks prior to my planned arrival in Christchurch I had a conversation with Mucaad on a video call," she said.

"I promised I would come and meet him for the first time. As it turned out, I did not get to fulfil my promise to him."

But Ms Ibrahim said "for the sake of Allah ... I do forgive this man and pray he sees the right path".

The sentencing continues.


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