Christchurch shootings: Mojammel Hoq named as one of the deceased

2:23 pm on 17 March 2019

A member of Christchurch's Muslim community says he feels lost and devastated by the death of his friend.

Mojammel Hoq.

Mojammel Hoq moved from Bangladesh a few years ago and was studying in Christchurch. Photo: Supplied / Jahirul Islam

Jahirul Islam, who is originally from Bangladesh, told RNZ a close friend of his died in the attack and another is still in hospital with serious injuries.

His friend, Mojammel Hoq, moved from Bangladesh a few years ago and was studying in Christchurch.

Mr Islam normally goes to the Deans Ave mosque on a Friday to pray, but couldn't this week because of work.

He didn't believe it when his boss told him there had been a mass shooting at the mosque, he said.

"I asked him twice, because I was thinking 'no, it isn't happening here'. I didn't believe it."

He moved to New Zealand because he thought it would be the safest place in the world.

"I had a talk with my family and they said 'you are going to go to New Zealand because that's the safest one'. That's why I came here, because I thought this could be my second home," Mr Islam said.

He said people were grieving for those people and their families.

"I don't even know what to do. I see a lot of people here and I don't even talk to them. I don't know what to do or what to say. I'm kind of lost in the middle.

"I lost my close friend yesterday. He passed away. We just got confirmation," he said.

Mr Islam said Mr Hoq, who was attending the same course as him, and was his flatmate, did not have family in New Zealand, and he wasn't sure about what to do next.

He said Mr Hoq's family were desperate to get his body home.

"I talked to some Muslim brothers about what happens if someone dies away from home, and they said that according to the religion it is what it is. If you died here you are buried here."

"But I am sure, because I am from the same kind of culture, they will be desperately seeking for the dead body at least."

People don't know what to do or say right now, he said.

"They lost their worlds. So did I.

"All the known faces around me, I can't even say anything to them. Because I don't know what to say."

Police notify victims' families

Police have released an unofficial list to family and community leaders of those who were killed in the Christchurch terror attacks.

Last night they removed all bodies in hearses from the mosques on Deans and Linwood Avenues.

The Police Commissioner said while doing so they found another body, bringing the death toll to 50.

Mr Bush also confirmed a rise in the number who were injured, to 50.

Mr Bush says the victims' list would not be released publicly yet.

"It was done to give some certainty to victims' families. This is not a formal list and we will be unable to share exact details of victims until they have been formally identified."