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'I want to pray for him' - Christchurch mosque victims respond after attacker pleads guilty

Today the shooter behind last year's Christchurch terror attack pleaded guilty, an unexpected change that caught many off guard and because of legalities, none of the families were able to be given a head's up.

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Christchurch lost 51 lives as a result of the March 15 shootings. Source: 1 NEWS

Brenton Tarrant appeared in Auckland's High Court today via audio-visual link, pleading guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of committing a terrorist act.

Due to the nationwide coronavirus shutdown, his victims were locked down in their homes today as the gunman admitted to his horror.

Farid Ahmed, a senior member of Al Noor mosque who survived the shooting but lost his wife Husnam is still forgiving, even now.

"I want to say that I respect him for owning up his wrongdoings. It is a courageous thing," he told 1 NEWS today.

"Personally, I think that it has saved time, energy, emotional exhaustion and the repeated remembering of the tragedy."

The news spread around the world like wildfire.

Gunshot victim Mustafa Bostaz, who is currently in Turkey, is relieved the games are over. 

"The overall feeling they are saying that thanks to God that it's over and he will get what he deserves," he told 1 NEWS.

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Abdul Aziz, the hero who chased the gunman away from Linwood Islamic Centre with nothing but an Eftpos machine, is in a different camp to some.

He had hoped to get answers from court.

"For myself, I wanted to go to trial, to find out more about why he did it, and what's the reason behind that."

Now with only sentencing ahead, the community just wants justice to be done.

Mr Ahmed says he still wants to meet the gunman in person.

"I want to say that I respect him for owning up his wrongdoings. It is a courageous thing," he says.

"I want to say to him that I still love him, I love him as my human brother. 

"I want to pray for him, that he should be using his time, his life, to be a loving person, not a person with hate."