A construction worker held a man's hand as he died while a colleague helped send a small girl to hospital before ambulances arrived at the scene of the terrorist shooting at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch.
Stories of heroism continue to emerge following the shootings at the Linwood and Deans Avenue mosques last Friday that killed 50 people and injured another 50. A 28-year-old Australian man has been charged with murder following the attacks.
Today it emerged that four construction workers were forced to face the horror in the crucial minutes before armed police and paramedics swarmed the Linwood mosque.
"There was very little noise at all because the people that had been shot and wounded, they were not able to scream because they were fighting for their lives," Carl Pomare, one of the construction workers, told 1 NEWS.
Mark Millar, a commercial labourer with no first aid training, held on to the first man he saw, and never let go.
"I couldn't tell if he was breathing or not. I just kept crawling up and trying to feel his breath on my face," Mr Millar said.
"I was holding his hand, mate. I was holding him, I was talking to him, I was whispering in his ear. I even slapped him a couple of times to tell him to fight. Then he was just gone. He fought for a long time."
I cried uncontrollable. And I was lucky enough to have a friend to come over- Mark Millar, labourer
Mr Millar placed his high viz vest over the man's face as he left the scene in tears.
"I haven't slept very much. I just want them to know that he didn't die alone. He wasn't alone on the footpath. He had someone there that genuinely cared."
Mr Pomare said they were still hearing gunfire and ducking from cover while tending to victims at the scene, and he's proud of his colleague.
"He didn't hesitate. He just went up to the first person that we saw on the ground dying and just put his arms around him and comforted him."
Meanwhile, Mr Pomare focused on saving a little girl and said the workers managed to get her into one of their vehicles "and get her off to the hospital before any ambulances arrived".
It was a move that may well have saved the four-year-old girl's life.
"That child remains in a critical condition," David Meates, Canterbury District Health Board CEO said today.
"The father was also transferred up to Auckland Hospital to be close to his daughter and with his wife," he said.
Two GPs and three nurses from a clinic a few doors down from the Linwood mosque were also escorted in to help.
"They attended to the victims and assisted stablising people who could be, and supported the police and the other first responders in getting people off to the hospital," said Vince Barry, CEO of Pegasus Health.
The trauma is having an impact on them and the heroic construction workers alike.
"I cried uncontrollable. And I was lucky enough to have a friend to come over," Mr Millar said.
The four construction workers plan to meet up again on Friday for a beer and a chat - all part of a healing process they know will take a long time yet.
Today one casualty of the shooting left Christchurch Hospital and is being supported by family and friends. Thirty people tonight remain in Christchurch Hospital, nine of them in a critical condition in intensive care.