Everyday Heroes

65-year-old Stops a Mass Shooting

The attack could have ended much more tragically if he decided not to jump in.

With so much tragic news about mass shootings lately, it's uplifting to hear a story with a happy ending. That's exactly what happened last weekend when a heavily armed man burst through a glass door at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, Norway.

The attack happened on Saturday, August 10, the first day of Eid al-Adha (a popular Islamic holiday). Luckily, only a few worshipers remained in the Centre when the gunman burst in with multiple weapons and wearing body armor. He was able to fire a few shots before a 65-year-old man named Mohamed Rafiq (pictured below) tackled him to the ground. Another worshiper, Mohamed Iqbal, struck the shooter in the head and others helped to restrain him until police arrived. No one was killed in the attack.

Earlier online posts from the shooter, a 21-year-old white man, suggest that he is a far-right extremist who was inspired by other attacks against people of Islamic faith, including the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand. He is also suspected of killing his 17-year-old stepsister, who was found dead at a home near the mosque shortly after the incident. The event is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

At a press conference the next day, Rafiq, a retired Pakistani Air Force officer, told journalists that he was grateful for the help and support he has received after the incident.

Rafiq and Iqbal are being hailed as heroes and were praised by police for their "great courage" in going up against a man with multiple guns.

"There is no doubt that their efforts prevented this from having entirely different consequences," Rune Skjold of the Oslo police said.

(Source: @b9AcE )

Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, also offered her condolences and vowed to make fighting hate speech a priority in the country. "Norway should be safe," she said in a statement. "All places of worship should be safe."

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