A young father saved his two-year-old son during the New Zealand terror attack, shielding him from the bullets.
Zulfirman Syah and his son Averroes were at the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch on March 15 when suspect Brenton Tarrant opened fire on worshippers, killing 50 people and injuring dozens more.
Throwing himself over the toddler, Zulfirman was hit several times by the bullets in multiple places, with his son sustaining minor injuries including gunshot shrapnel wounds in the leg and backside.
Both survived the attack, and are now recovering in hospital, as Zulfirman’s wife Alta Marie explained on Facebook.
She thanked people for showing their support writing:
My husband Zulfirman Syah and son are both alive, but injured. Both shot in the attack today at the Linwood Islamic center in Christchurch, New Zealand (where we just moved two months ago). My husband, Jul, was shot in multiple places and has a drain in his lung (from what I have heard) though I haven’t seen him yet since he has been in surgery.
I was recently united with my son, who has a gunshot wound to the leg and backside. He is traumatised, but we are all alive. Thanks for your prayers and messages of concern.
Alta was cooking in their new home when she received a phone call from her husband. Answering the second call which came in minutes later, it quickly became clear there had been an attack at the mosque where he and Averroes was praying.
Searching for information, Alta was reunited with her family hours later.
In a later Facebook post, the English teacher assured family, friends and the public both Zulfirman and Averroes were in stable conditions and recovering well.
Two fundraising pages have been set up online to raise money to support the family.
Alta’s friend Aakriti Arora has set up a page on Givealittle, with the money going towards ‘uncovered medical expenses and household expenses while the couple restabilises, and to alleviate the financial stress until Alta and Jul can work again’.
Over on Go Fund Me, another friend of the family, Jodi Puhalla, also set up a page to raise money for the same cause.