A shooter killed 50 people on March 15 in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Traditionally by Islamic practice, bodies are buried within 24 hours of their death. However, the first two burials were held on March 20, five days after the shooting occurred. This is in part due to the police investigation into the shooting but also because of the time it took to identify the 50 victims.
“You cannot convict for murder without the cause of death,” New Zealand Commissioner of Police Mike Bush said. “This is a very comprehensive process that must be completed to the highest standard.”
While all the victims were Muslim, their ages spanned from 3 to 71 years old and came from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Daoud Nabi, 71
The first to die in this massacre was Daoud Nabi, 71. Nabi was a grandfather to nine who had recently immigrated to New Zealand from Afghanistan and found his new home a “slice of paradise.” Before he was shot, he had extended his hand to the shooter and said, “Hello brother.” He is survived by his son, Omar, who told The Daily Telegraph, “He has helped everyone who’s a refugee. Whether you’re from Palestine, Iraq, Syria—he’s been the first person to hold his hand up.”
Mucad Ibrahim, 3
The youngest person to have been killed was 3-year-old Mucad Ibrahim. “Knowing that New Zealand and the whole world stands behind our boy reassures us that violence and racism are unwelcome in our world,” his family said in a statement. The toddler, his brother and his father were all at Al Noor mosque when the shooting began, but the 3-year-old was separated from the rest of his family.
Khaled Mustafa, 44 and Hamza Mustafa, 16
A father died along with his son in the shooting on Friday and were the first two to be buried. Khaled Mustafa and Hamza Mustafa came to New Zealand as refugees from Syria along with the rest of their family last year. Khaled’s younger teenage son, Zaid Mustafa, was also injured in the attack and attended their funeral in a wheelchair. “I shouldn’t be standing in front of you. I should be lying beside you,” Zaid said, according to BBC.
Sayyad Milne, 14
After attending the mosque with his mother, Sayyad Milne, 14, was also killed in the attacks. His mother survived. “I’ve lost my little boy; he’s just turned 14,” Milne’s father said. Milne had goals to become an international soccer player when he was older.