15 Apr 2019

Christchurch terror attack: The day NZ changed forever

From Checkpoint, 6:15 pm on 15 April 2019

Documentary - One month ago today, Christchurch was hit by the worst modern day act of terror that this country has seen. Fifty people were killed in attacks on two mosques in the city. Dozens of others were injured.

The shootings of March 15 are still keenly affecting those caught up in them.

Some people are still in hospital with life threatening injuries, their loved ones scared to be at home or in Christchurch at all. Money and day-to-day living is also becoming a struggle. Others are grappling with their mental health.

Tonight we share with you their stories over the past month, narrated by our reporter Logan Church and videographer Simon Rogers, who were some of the first journalists at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue, arriving just minutes after the shooting.

This is their story, in their words and the words of the survivors and those grieving the lost, on one of our darkest days.

Temel Atacocugu is in Burwood Hospital, recovering from nine bullet wounds. He has stitches all over his left arm and knees.

He also has stitches above his lip, where the first bullet hit him and shattered some of his teeth.

Smiling is painful.

As a former Turkish soldier, he very quickly realised what was happening when a gunman opened fire.

"I have injuries on my face, my arm, and the right knee and the left knee," he told Checkpoint.

Temel, who also owns a Christchurch Kebab shop, said he did not know if he was alive or dead.

"I believe Allah saved my life."

Meanwhile, Faisal Sayed is still trying to process what he saw at the Linwood mosque during the attacks.

He said there are many problems the local Muslim community face one month on.

"People who are directly impacted...have apprehension about how safe they are...they are not coming for prayers because they are still afraid."

But Mr Sayad's message to the greater Christchurch is simple.

"We just need to make sure we are taking a stand on hate peace and to anything that is not fair."

He says "peace and unity" is now key.