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Special Honours List 16 December 2021 - Citations for New Zealand Bravery Awards

The New Zealand Cross:

RASHID, Dr Naeem (Posthumous)

Deceased 15 March 2019, Christchurch

Citation

On Friday 15 March 2019, Dr Naeem Rashid and his son arrived to attend afternoon prayer at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch. They entered the main prayer room just before 1.30pm and remained there while the Imam began speaking to the congregation.

Shortly before 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque. The gunman entered the Mosque, and made his way to the main prayer room, shooting people in the main entranceway and along the corridor.

The congregation attempted to flee from the gunman as he came down the corridor and into the main prayer room. Most of the congregation fled to the sides of the prayer room. Several people directly in line of the corridor were shot.

Dr Rashid, who had been sitting on the floor of the main prayer room, got up and ran to the side of the room where a large number of the congregation were trying to escape through a small window and door. Someone broke the lower pane of the window and several people were able to escape, but others could not, as the gunman was firing at them. This caused a bottleneck to develop and many people were exposed to the gunman's line of fire.

Dr Rashid was at the back of this group. He saw the gunman begin firing shots into a large group of men on the other side of the room. Dr Rashid launched himself from his position and ran at the gunman. When Dr Rashid was approximately one metre from him, the gunman swung the rifle around and shot Dr Rashid in the shoulder.

Dr Rashid collided with the gunman, grabbing him and knocking him to the ground. The impact dislodged one of the ammunition magazines from the gunman’s tactical vest. As the gunman fell, he turned the rifle and again fired at Dr Rashid, who was now lying on the floor. The gunman regained his feet and shot the wounded Dr Rashid, killing him, before continuing to shoot others in the main prayer room.

Because of Dr Rashid’s actions, the gunman’s attention was temporarily diverted from the people trying to escape on the other side of the room. During that time, at least seven people were able to escape through the broken window.

In a situation of extreme danger, Dr Rashid displayed great courage and bravery in challenging the gunman, with complete disregard for his own safety. In so doing, he selflessly enabled others to escape, at the cost of his own life. Without Dr Rashid’s brave actions, the loss of life on 15 March 2019 would have been even greater.

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The New Zealand Cross:

WAHABZADAH, Mr Abdul Aziz (Abdul Aziz)

Citation

On Friday 15 March 2019, Mr Abdul Aziz was attending Friday afternoon prayers at the Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue in Christchurch, along with his four sons aged between six and 19 years.

Shortly before 1.50pm, a lone gunman dressed in full camouflage gear and armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Linwood Mosque.

Mr Aziz became aware of multiple gunshots being fired outside. At the same time a worshipper in the front row of the prayer then said someone had been shot through the window from the driveway and some worshippers attempted to leave the Mosque.

Mr Aziz went to the door of the Mosque to investigate and saw the gunman in his camouflage clothing running back to his car, which had been parked in Linwood Avenue blocking the driveway to the Mosque to prevent any vehicle entering or exiting the property. The gunman discarded a rifle in the driveway and retrieved a loaded semi-automatic rifle from his vehicle.

Mr Aziz left the Mosque without hesitation with the intention of chasing the gunman away. He yelled at the gunman and to defend himself he grabbed an EFTPOS machine from near the entrance of the Mosque. He ran after the gunman and threw the EFTPOS machine in his direction. When Mr Aziz was around 15 metres away, the gunman fired at least three shots at him with the semi-automatic rifle. Mr Aziz ducked down between parked cars and made his way through the vehicles towards the rear of the Mosque. On his way to the rear of the Mosque, Mr Aziz noticed bodies of worshippers on the ground and the discarded lever action rifle, which made him realise the gunman had a new firearm. He checked to see if the lever action rifle was loaded but it was not. Hearing more shots from inside the Mosque, Mr Aziz took the empty discarded rifle and made his way towards the front of the Mosque, yelling to get the gunman’s attention.

Mr Aziz shouted provocations at the gunman to get him to refocus his attention on Mr Aziz, with the intention of preventing further loss of life. The gunman saw Mr Aziz carrying the discarded rifle, dropped his gun and ran to his car. Mr Aziz chased after him and, while the gunman was sitting in his car, threw the gunman’s discarded rifle at the back left window of the car, smashing it. The gunman drove off, with Mr Aziz continuing to chase him for a time down Linwood Avenue.

The situation in which Mr Aziz found himself was extremely dangerous. In challenging the gunman he displayed great courage and bravery, and complete disregard for his own safety. Mr Aziz’s brave actions deterred the gunman from re-entering this Mosque to kill and maim others and ultimately forced the gunman to flee the Mosque.

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The New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

BEALE, Mr Liam Christiaan Armand

Citation

On 15 March 2019 around 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch.

During the attack on the Mosque the gunman returned to his vehicle to collect further ammunition, and fired multiple shots along both directions of the street, on one occasion firing 27 shots in one direction.

Mr Liam Beale was driving his car, and turning into Deans Avenue, when he felt the reverberations of a gunshot through his car.

While driving down the street Mr Beale heard more shots and observed a man fall to the ground. Hearing further gunshots, Mr Beale got out of his car, and retrieved his first aid kit from the back. He made his way to a man who had been shot, and lying on the grass on the centre island of the road. He moved the man several metres to shelter him between cars, and applied a trauma bandage to the man’s gunshot wounds. Mr Beale then moved along the road to other victims, assessing the severity of their injuries, applying initial first aid, and moving those where he could to less exposed positions.

Mr Beale found a young girl with gunshot wounds lying face down on the pavement. He ran to retrieve his last remaining trauma bandage from his car and returned to the girl. He pressed a bandage onto her wounds, and picked her up and ran her down the road to where others could assist.

More people had gathered near Mr Beale at this stage, and he told them that the gunman was either still nearby or his whereabouts unknown and Police were unable to secure the scene to allow ambulance access. One of the other people brought his utility vehicle down the road, and Mr Beale helped load the victims into the vehicle, and alerted emergency services that the vehicle would be leaving the scene carrying wounded people in need of attention. Mr Beale remained on the scene, assisting the Police and victims.

Mr Beale placed his own life at risk, bravely searching for victims, assisting them and moving them to safety, while the gunman was active in the area.

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The New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

CARMODY, Senior Constable Scott Eric

New Zealand Police

Citation

On 15 March 2019 Senior Constable Scott Carmody and a colleague were at a firearms training exercise day in Christchurch, when they were made aware of the shooting at Al Noor Mosque.

Shortly before 1.40pm, a lone gunman commenced an attack targeting two mosques in Christchurch: Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue and The Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue. The gunman, armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, had shot dead 51 people and wounded a further 89 people, many seriously, during his attacks on the two Mosques.

Senior Constable Carmody and his colleague, both experienced officers, considered the gunman’s options and made their way by patrol vehicle, armed with Police-issued weapons, to what they believed would be his possible exit from the city.

The officers observed a vehicle matching the description of the gunman’s vehicle weaving through traffic on a busy residential street, and began to follow it.

The gunman’s vehicle stopped at a set of red traffic lights and once traffic started moving again, Senior Constable Carmody and his colleague identified a window of opportunity to stop the vehicle and prevent the gunman inflicting further loss of life or injury.

Senior Constable Carmody and his colleague intentionally collided with the target vehicle and positioned themselves to take immediate response action. The impact shunted the target vehicle and jammed the front of the Police vehicle into the driver's side, and the officers quickly exited vehicle with their weapons at the ready. Senior Constable Carmody took up a position at the rear passenger side door of the gunman’s vehicle with his service weapon pointed at the gunman.

The other officer was also covering the gunman from the front of the patrol car. They observed two firearms across the front passenger's seat and near the gunman's lap, and saw that the gunman was wearing a bullet-proof vest with a large knife attached. The officers decided to remove the gunman via the rear of the vehicle. Senior Constable Carmody’s colleague moved to the rear of the gunman’s vehicle and opened the hatch, observing a number of full petrol containers, arranged in a configuration that appeared to be intended as an improvised explosive device.

Senior Constable Carmody covered his colleague, who forcibly removed the gunman from the vehicle. Both officers then dragged him a short distance away, handcuffing and securing him in the process.

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The New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

MANNING, Senior Constable James Andrew (Jim)

New Zealand Police

Citation

On 15 March 2019 Senior Constable Jim Manning and a colleague were at a firearms training exercise day in Christchurch, when they were made aware of a shooting at Al Noor Mosque.

Shortly before 1.40pm, a lone gunman commenced an attack targeting two mosques in Christchurch: Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue and The Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue. The gunman, armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, had shot dead 51 people and wounded a further 89 people, many seriously, during his attacks on the two Mosques.

Senior Constable Manning and his colleague, both experienced officers, considered the gunman’s options and made their way by patrol vehicle, armed with Police-issued weapons, to what they believed would be his possible exit from the city.

The officers observed a vehicle matching the description of the gunman’s vehicle weaving through traffic on a busy residential street, and began to follow it.

The gunman’s vehicle stopped at a set of red traffic lights, and once traffic started moving again, Senior Constable Manning and his colleague identified a window of opportunity to stop the vehicle and prevent the gunman inflicting further loss of life or injury.

Senior Constable Manning and his colleague intentionally collided with the target vehicle, and positioned themselves to take immediate response action. The impact shunted the target vehicle and jammed the front of the Police vehicle into the driver's side, and the officers quickly exited with their weapons at the ready. Senior Constable Manning took up a position at the front right corner of the patrol vehicle with his service weapon pointed at the gunman.

The other officer positioned himself on the passenger side of the vehicle covering the gunman. They observed two firearms across the front passenger's seat and near the gunman's lap, and saw that the gunman was wearing a bullet-proof vest with a large knife attached. The officers decided to remove the gunman via the rear of the vehicle. Senior Constable Manning moved to the rear and opened the hatch, where he saw a number of full petrol containers arranged in a configuration that appeared to be intended as an improvised explosive device.

Senior Constable Manning, with his weapon in his hand and his colleague covering him, forcibly removed the gunman from the vehicle, and both officers dragged him a short distance away, handcuffing and securing him in the process.

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The New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

SHAH, Mr Ziyaad

Citation

On 15 March 2019 Mr Ziyaad Shah was attending Friday prayers at Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch. On hearing the call to prayer he sat down in the middle of the main prayer room, and greeted another worshipper next to him.

Shortly before 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque. The gunman entered the Mosque, and made his way to the main prayer room, shooting people in the main entranceway and along the corridor.

Mr Shah heard a series of continuous gunshots and became aware of people moving towards him, away from the entrance of the prayer room. Mr Shah deliberately grabbed the man next to him and rolled to his left, shielding the other man with his body. As the gunman continued shooting, Mr Shah was shot twice.

Mr Shah decided to pretend to be dead, and told the shielded man to remain calm and do the same. He continued to lie on top of him, as the gunman walked around shooting at people continuously. Bleeding from his wounds, Mr Shah remained lying down, protecting the other man, until the gunman finally left the Mosque.

Mr Shah’s selfless actions in protecting his fellow worshipper demonstrated exceptional bravery.

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The New Zealand Bravery Medal:

BRADFORD, Mr Lance Henry

Citation

On 15 March 2019 around 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch.

During the attack on the Mosque the gunman returned to his vehicle to collect further ammunition, and fired multiple shots along both directions of the street, on one occasion firing 27 shots in one direction.

Mr Lance Bradford was driving his utility vehicle along Deans Avenue in Christchurch at the time of the attack. As he came to the Al Noor Mosque he saw eight to ten individuals lying on the ground in distress in the surrounding area.

Mr Bradford immediately pulled his vehicle over and began to walk back towards the Mosque. As he did so, he could hear the sounds of gunshots and people screaming. Mr Bradford began stopping members of the public who were seemingly unaware of the unfolding situation from heading in the direction of the Mosque.

Mr Bradford then made his way towards the Mosque, hiding behind cars, and found a man and young girl, who had both been shot. While another man was assisting the young girl, Mr Bradford assisted the wounded man. Mr Bradford and the other man then conferred in planning an evacuation for some of the wounded, as ambulances were not able to enter the immediate scene while it was unsecured. After the arrival of the first armed Police responders, Mr Bradford went back to his vehicle and reversed it down the road to where the victims were.

With help from others, Mr Bradford loaded the wounded man and young girl into the vehicle, along with another man who had been shot in the leg. Mr Bradford then drove the victims to the Christchurch Hospital emergency department.

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The New Zealand Bravery Medal:

MALEY, Mr Wayne

Citation

On 15 March 2019 around 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch.

During the attack on the Mosque the gunman returned to his vehicle to collect further ammunition, and fired multiple shots along both directions of the street, on one occasion firing 27 shots in one direction.

Mr Wayne Maley and a colleague were driving in a large utility vehicle along Deans Avenue in Christchurch, near the near the vicinity of the Al Noor Mosque, at around 1.40pm.

Mr Maley heard gunshots coming from the vicinity of the Mosque, and saw the gunman firing a weapon and people falling over in the grounds of the Mosque. As they continued along the road, he could also see people falling over on the footpath. Mr Maley realised the severity of the situation and could see cars on the other side of the road heading towards them that would then drive past the Mosque and into danger. He swung his vehicle across the lanes at the end of a traffic island, and with his colleague began directing traffic to turn around.

Mr Maley could see people lying on the road and the footpath back towards the Mosque, so approached to provide help. He came across several victims who had been shot, and provided assistance to them.

At this point Mr Maley could see ambulances at a cordon point on Deans Avenue but knew that they would not be allowed into the area until the Police had secured it. He joined others assisting nearby to plan an evacuation of four victims from within the cordon. Mr Maley and his colleague helped load four victims into a vehicle, which then left the scene.

Mr Maley and his colleague continued to provide assistance to victims until ambulance personnel arrived.

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The New Zealand Bravery Medal:

MILLER, Mr Mark Garry

Citation

On 15 March 2019 around 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch.

During the attack on the Mosque the gunman returned to his vehicle to collect further ammunition, and fired multiple shots along both directions of the street, on one occasion firing 27 shots in one direction.

Mr Mark Miller and a colleague were driving in their work vehicle along Deans Avenue in Christchurch, near the near the vicinity of the Al Noor Mosque at around 1.40pm. As they drove towards the Mosque they heard gunfire and witnessed between five to eight people being shot and falling to the ground.

Mr Miller’s colleague stopped the vehicle around 100 metres from the Mosque and said to Mr Miller they should go back to help. Mr Miller left the vehicle and ran towards the first victim he saw on the ground. He crawled between cars onto the footpath and tried to move the man, but was unable to do so. He stayed with him to provide comfort and assistance. During this time, Mr Miller saw the gunman moving towards the Mosque and out of sight, before hearing more shots being fired.

Another man approached Mr Miller and helped move the wounded man onto his side. Together they administered first aid to the gunshot wound on the man’s back, and Mr Miller helped hold the man upright as he was having trouble breathing.

The Police arrived soon afterwards and Mr Miller stayed with the man assisting him, until the victim died a short while later. Mr Miller moved to help lift another victim onto a gurney and load him into an ambulance, before finally leaving the scene.

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The New Zealand Bravery Medal:

ROBINSON, Mr Michael James (Mike)

Citation

On 15 March 2019 around 1.40pm, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic shotguns and assault rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, commenced an attack on the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch.

During the attack on the Mosque the gunman returned to his vehicle to collect further ammunition, and fired multiple shots along both directions of the street, on one occasion firing 27 shots in one direction.

Mr Mike Robinson and a colleague were driving in a large utility vehicle along Deans Avenue in Christchurch, near the near the vicinity of the Al Noor Mosque, at around 1.40pm. They heard gunshots coming from the vicinity of the Mosque, and observed the gunman firing a weapon and people falling over in the grounds of the Mosque. Mr Robinson's colleague swung their vehicle across the lanes at the end of a traffic island and together they began directing traffic to turn around.

They could see people lying on the road and the footpath back towards the Mosque so approached to help. They came across several victims who had been shot, and provided assistance to them. Mr Robinson pulled a gunshot victim to shelter between parked cars. He then proceeded as close as possible to the Mosque, but found no further victims and returned to the others.

At this point they could see ambulances at a cordon point on Deans Avenue but knew that they would not be allowed into the area until the Police had secured it. They joined others assisting nearby to plan an evacuation of four victims from within the cordon. Mr Robinson and his colleague helped load four victims into a vehicle, which then left the scene.

Mr Robinson and his colleague continued to provide assistance to victims until ambulance personnel arrived.

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Last updated: 
Thursday, 16 December 2021

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