Latef Alabi, the Linwood mosque’s acting imam, said the death toll would have been far higher at the Linwood mosque if it wasn’t for Mr Aziz.
Mr Alabi said he heard a voice outside the mosque at about 1:55 p.m. and stopped the prayer he was leading and peeked out the window. He saw a guy in black military-style gear and a helmet holding a large gun, and assumed it was a police officer. Then he saw two bodies and heard the gunman yelling obscenities.
“I realised this is something else. This is a killer,” he said.
He yelled at the congregation of more than 80 to get down. They hesitated. A shot rang out, a window shattered and a body fell, and people began to realise it was for real.
“Then this brother came over. He went after him, and he managed to overpower him, and that’s how we were saved,” Mr Alabi said, referring to Mr Aziz. “Otherwise, if he managed to come into the mosque, then we would all probably be gone.”