He couldn’t find the main door to the mosque — and that confusion likely saved dozens of lives.
Australian white nationalist and accused mass murderer Brenton Tarrant struggled to locate the main entrance to the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, when about 100 people inside had just started their prayers, a survivor said in an interview published Monday.
When Tarrant couldn’t find the entrance, he started shooting through a window, worshiper and witness Mohammed Akheel Uddin told the New Zealand website Stuff.com.
Uddin said Tarrant’s door snafu gave most of the worshipers inside time to run for cover.
“Something is happening outside! People, get on the floor!’’ Uddin said he urged those around him.
“I called the people to get inside the ladies section. It’s a safe place, you can lock it from inside. Then I saw [Tarrant]. He was 6 to 8 feet in front of me,’’ he said.
“By the time he was in the right place, we hide ourselves. It was panic. It was a very terrible situation. … That’s why, if he was coming straightaway to the main door, everybody would be maybe no more here.”
Seven people died in the mosque attack.
Uddin said he called the cops to warn them that the shooter might also try to target the area’s Masjid Al Noor mosque.
The witness didn’t know at the time that Tarrant allegedly had already struck there, killing 43 people.