A HERO dad saved the life of his two-year-old son when he shielded him from bullets during the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Zulfirman Syah was shot several times and had to undergo emergency surgery after he threw himself in front of his son Averroes, who sustained less serious injuries.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, killed 49 people after attacking two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s modern history.
Several children died during the attacks, including Mucad Ibrahim, three, and Abdullahi Dirie, four.
Indonesian-born Zulfirman shielded his son while others chased the gunman away at the gunman’s second target the Linwood Islamic Centre, where seven people died.
He underwent reconstructive surgery and his condition is said to be improving.
Averroes sustained more minor injuries, including a gunshot wound to the leg and backside, and underwent surgery to remove shrapnel.
Zulfirman’s wife Alta Marie made a Facebook post saying that while her husband is in intensive care following the attack but he is expected to recover.
She was cooking in her kitchen when her husband rang her but it wasn’t clear until the second phone call minutes later that there had been an attack.
Alta wrote: “My husband shielded our son during the attack at Linwood Islamic Centre, which caused him to receive most of the bullets and much more complex injuries than our son.
“He is in stable condition following the extensive exploratory and reconstructive surgery he had earlier today.
“While he is still in the intensive care unit at this stage, he will be moved to the general ward whenever it is deemed appropriate – likely in the next day or so.
“While the road to recovery will be long, his condition has only improved since he arrived at the hospital yesterday.”
Alta said she searched for their son for hours before finding him.
A video of the scene shows a panicked Averroes clambering over his injured father.
Alta continued: “He had surgery this morning to extract some shrapnel while checking for internal injuries.
ON THE MEND
“He is recovering nicely and has been cheerful while keeping the staff on the children’s ward entertained with his talkative and energetic nature.”
A GoFundMe page for the family has already reached £7,763 in donations.
Zulfirman arrived in New Zealand with his family from Indonesia just two months ago
Brenton Tarrant opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, at 1.40pm local time on Friday.
49 people were killed during the attack; including 41 at Masjid Al Noor Mosque, seven at Linwood Masjid Mosque and one who later died in hospital.
48 people were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds and 20 are in critical condition.
Aussie-born Tarrant published a chilling 74-page manifesto before the rampage.
He flashed a white power symbol as he appeared in Christchurch District Court today charged with murder.
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He livestreamed himself as he stormed the Al Noor Mosque during Friday prayers, leaving at least 41 dead.
Cops believe he then drove for seven minutes to a mosque in Linwood Avenue where he shot dead a further eight victims.
He was arrested and dragged from his car, which was rigged with two bombs, 36 minutes after police were first called.
has been charged with one count of murder in the slayings and a judge said Saturday that it was reasonable to assume more charges would follow.
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