Daoud Nabi had a reputation in his Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque for doing anything to help others in need.
That reputation lasted on until his final moments, when the 71-year-old grandfather reportedly threw himself in front of other worshipers during an attack from a heavily armed gunman, shielding them and sacrificing his own life. Nabi was among the 49 people killed in the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history.
As The Hill reported, Nabi’s final sacrifice is one of many acts of heroism to emerge from the mass shooting. There were attacks against two mosques in Christchurch, leaving a total of 49 people dead and dozens others wounded.
A report from NBC News noted that Nabi was well-known for extending a helping hand to Muslim refugees who moved to the country’s second-largest city.
“He’s helped everyone who’s a refugee,” said Omar Nabi, Daoud’s son. “Whether you’re from Palestine, Iraq, Syria — he’s been the first person to hold his hand up.”
There were others who showed heroism in the face of the mass shooting this week. Reports noted that another unarmed worshiper tackled the gunman, wrestling away his gun, and ultimately chasing him out of the mosque.
Witnesses said the young man was someone who “looked after” the mosque and his actions likely saved the lives of many others. The young man tried to fire the gun at the attacker as he fled, but could not get it to operate. Witnesses said the attacker jumped into a car with others who were waiting for him and drove away.
Officials in New Zealand are still unraveling details from the pair of shootings, and have taken a 28-year-old man into custody on a murder charge. As CNBC reported, four others were taken into custody, including three men and one woman, and authorities said they are still investigating others who may have been involved in either the planning or actual carrying out of the attack.
The shooting prompted condolences from across the world, as well as condemnation for the hate-fueled attack on Muslims.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”
“It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack.”
The shooting has also prompted an outpouring of support across New Zealand, with many speaking out in support of the country’s small Muslim population and other religious groups offering support to the victims and their families.