In the wake of the mass shooting that killed dozens of worshippers inside two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, social media users have praised one unarmed victim who ran out to confront the shooter.
The deaths of many of the 49 individuals killed in what the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a “terrorist attack” on “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” were beamed out live on social media by the shooter from a bodycam.
The graphic footage shows the gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant in Australian media and described by officials in New Zealand as a 28-year-old white man of Australian origin, as he deals out death at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. The Associated Press reported 30 worshippers were killed at the one mosque.
Seven minutes into the 17-minute-long Facebook video, the gunman is rushed by an unarmed worshipper who appears to have been killed in his attempt to end the carnage. While it is not clear what happened to the man, he was able to tackle the shooter to the ground. The gunman may have shot him as he made contact and the worshipper is seen falling to the ground. The gunman then turns as he stands up and shoots the worshipper’s apparently lifeless body at point-blank range.
Social media users have saluted the unknown man’s attempts to end the shooting. “Halfway through the New Zealand shooting, as dozens around him lay dead, a single unarmed worshipper rushed the shooter, doing whatever he could to make him stop. Some people will publicize the villain. Let’s remember the heroes instead,” broadcast journalist Muhammad Lila wrote on Twitter.
“Shoutout to the guy that ran full speed and tried to tackle the shooter,” one Twitter user wrote. “You are a hero man! Rest In Peace,” they added.
Halfway through the New Zealand shooting, as dozens around him lay dead, a single unarmed worshipper rushed the shooter, doing whatever he could to make him stop.
Some people will publicize the villain.
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) March 15, 2019
“During the attack in New Zealand, a brother was seen running towards the attacker and it looks like he was trying to stop him. The terrorist was armed with an assault rifle, the brother was unarmed,” another Twitter user wrote. “He died a hero,” they added.
Reuters reported that Facebook and Twitter have been working to remove content involving the mass shooting. “Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” Facebook said in a tweet.
“We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”
In a statement Twitter said it had “rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations” like the shooting in New Zealand. “We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required,” the social media platform added.
Source: Newsweek Callum Paton
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