A three-year-old boy died in his father’s arms after he was shot by a gunman in the mosque terror attackin New Zealand, a friend says.
Mucad Ibrahim was one of the youngest of the 49 people who were killed in mass shootings targeting Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch.
The “energetic” and “playful” boy was attending Friday prayers with his father and older brother Abdi when the gunman, wielding an assault rifle and wearing body armour, struck at the Al Noor mosque.
It has been suggested that frightened Mucad tried to run away from the terrorist while his wounded father survived by playing dead and his brother ran out as fast as he could.
Family members had reported Mucad missing after New Zealand’s deadliest terror attack, fearing he was among the dead.
But it was later announced that he had been found and he did not survive.
A family friend claimed he had died in his father’s arms later on Friday, MailOnline reported.
Mucad was one of 41 people who were fatally shot at the Al Noor mosque. Eight others were slaughtered at the Linwood Mosque.
About 50 people were injured in the massacre which unfolded as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers.
Before Mucad’s death was confirmed, his brother Abdi told Stuff.co.nz the family had visited Christchurch Hospital and checked a lost of patients, but the boy was not there and remained unaccounted for.
The older brother said he ran out of the mosque as fast as he could and his father pretended to be dead after being shot and wounded.
Abdi said earlier of the three-year-old: “We’re most likely thinking he’s one of the people who has died at the mosque… at this stage everyone’s saying he’s dead.
“It’s been pretty tough, a lot of people are ringing me asking if you need help. It’s been hard at the moment, [we’ve] never dealt with this.”
He said Mucad was “energetic” and “playful” and he was always smiling and laughing.
Abdi said he felt “hatred” towards the killer.
After the attack, Abdi shared a Facebook photo of himself and Mucad, confirming his death.
The caption read: “Verily we belong to God and to Him we shall return. Will miss you dearly brother”.
Profiles of some of the victims began to emerge on Saturday as New Zealand mourned the 49 who were killed.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised stricter gun laws, telling reporters the mosque attacker was a licensed gun owner.
Five firearms were used during the rampage, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, she said.
The weapons appeared to have been modified, she added.
A 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, was charged with murder on Saturday.
When he appeared in court he made a hand gesture used by white supremacists.