Daoud Nabi was humble and “one of the kindest people you’ve ever met,” a friend said. The 71-year-old often went to the airport to greet refugees, helping them start new lives in a country he, too, had made his home. He was an engineer and ran his community’s Afghan Association.
Nabi died Friday afternoon trying to shield another worshiper as a gunman burst into the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, opening fire during prayer services, his son, Omar Nabi, told local media.
Omar Nabi’s father was one of 49 people killed during a rampage at two mosques in what New Zealand officials have called a right-wing, extremist terrorist attack and one of the deadliest mass shootings in the country’s history.
Authorities have not yet released the names of the victims and frantic family members and friends have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and media outlets with desperate pleas for answers and information, posting photos of loved ones they can no longer get a hold of.
“Please Dad, come home,” Omar Nabi posted on his Facebook page before learning that his father died trying to protect someone else.
“He leaped on somebody else to save their life,” the 43-year-old told the New Zealand newspaper Stuff. “Just helping people is his main thing. It makes me feel like he wanted other people to live.”
Omar Nabi wants to take his father, who moved to New Zealand when he was young, back home to Afghanistan to be buried, according to a fundraising page.
Stories of other victims, though officially unconfirmed, have started to spread.
Khaled Mustafa, a Syrian refugee, moved to New Zealand with his wife and three children last year, Syrian Solidarity New Zealand wrote on Facebook.
“They thought it was a safe haven,” the group said.
One of Mustafa’s two sons, who was injured in the attack, required a six-hour operation last night at Christchurch hospital. The other is still missing.
Several other Syrian refugees, including children, were also shot, according to the organization.
Heba Sami told Gulf News that her father was shot in the back protecting her twin brothers from gunfire. The 52-year-old is now fighting for his life. Sami told the outlet that “many” of her family’s friends died in the shooting.
“My family survived the attack but many of our friends didn’t. Among the nearly 50 dead are five close family friends, including a 12-year-old boy,” she said.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed that one child, possibly two, are among the dead.
Abdi Ibrahim told Stuff that he was at the Deans Ave. mosque with his father and three-year-old brother, Mucad, for services when the gunman burst in. He made it out, as did his dad, but they have not seen the boy since the shooting.
Consulates across the world have started to confirm that they, too, lost citizens, and the Red Cross New Zealand has created a database of missing people.
Bangladeshi Counsellor Farida Yasmeen told BuzzFeed News that, through sources, they have identified two of the victims: Dr. Abdus Samad and Husne Ara.
Jordan’s foreign ministry confirmed that two Jordanians died. Five Pakistani citizens are still missing, according to the Pakistan Association of New Zealand.
Like so many others, Janna Adnan Ezat keeps posting prayers and updates that she still has not heard from her son and that his phone only rings unanswered.
“There is no news yet,” the mother wrote Saturday afternoon. “Please pray with me.”
BuzzFeed News will update this post with additional victims as information becomes available. If you know someone who perished in the attack and would like to share anything about them, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org