Until Friday, the Aramoana massacre of 1990 was the most deadly mass murder in New Zealand history.
Today, two former cops who were at Aramoana and ended gunman David Gray's reign of terror and death have spoken about the aftermath of such an event for first responders, the lifelong impact of such a horrifying event and what will - not could - happen in future if gun laws are not signifcantly tightened.
Senior crime reporter Anna Leask spoke to the officers in Christchurch, where 50 people were killed and another 50 injured when a gunman stormed two city mosques five days ago.
It's clear to see Aramoana still has a huge impact on Tim Ashton.
He chokes up at times, has to take a deep breath before speaking about parts of the massacre.
His eyes have seen things none of us could imagine - or want to.
Dead children, rivers of blood pouring from victims wounded by high-powered firearms, those he couldn't save.
After killing 13 people in the small Otago town on November 13, 1990 — the youngest a 5-year-old boy — Gray ran at a group of officers from the Christchurch Armed Offenders Squad, shooting at them with an AK47.
Ashton was one of those officers.
Three pulled their triggers, ending Gray's rampage and his life.
"The police and emergency services workers who attended that scene of horror on Friday, that act of evil - will be affected for the rest of their lives," Ashton said.
"The people who lost loved ones and their relatives will be affected.
"The affects of this will last a lifetime for those involved."
Ashton still thinks about Aramoana and said it's not something he has ever been able to get past.
In the days and weeks after he spent as much time with his family as possible.
They were his sanctuary.
"I just bound them in love really, you must spend time with those you trust and care for," he said.
"The effects of this can go on for days, weeks and months for those of use who survived and got to go home."
When Ashton heard about the terror attack on Friday his reaction was "total horror".
For many years he has been lobbying the government - from local MPs to party leaders and other lawmakers - to change New Zealand's gun laws.
He has long feared that if assault-style weapons were not banned here, there would be a mass shooting of epic proportions.
His fear became reality on Friday at 1.40pm.
Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned under stronger new gun laws.
As of 3pm today an order in council took effect making it impossible for anyone to buy these kind of weapons without police approval.
Stringent regulation would be in place for anyone who already owned the now-banned guns.
A buy-back scheme would be introduced to help remove the firearms completely from the public sphere.
Once the buy-back period ended, anyone in possession of banned weapon would face fines or prison.
Ashton has been pushing for this reform for years - but wanted to see even more changes, saying it was only a matter of time before the next massacre if the Arms Act was not substantially overhauled.
He is passionate about this cause, and becomes emotional talking about it.
The former cop was appalled there was no national firearms registration in New Zealand, meaning authorities effectively had no idea how many guns were in the country, who had them, how many they had and when or how they were onsold.
"We have no restrictions on the amount of weapons you can buy, we have no idea how many weapons are out there," he said.
"We allowed a .50 calibre weapon to be imported into New Zealand - and for what purpose I have no idea.
"We must review the Arms Act and we must do it now… unfortunately gun violence is increasing in the world and we must do all we can to keep New Zealander's safe."
Ashton said he regularly hears of police being confronted by offenders with assault-style weapons and incidents like the Napier siege and the shooting of two women by Northland man Quinn Patterson proved that the gun laws were far too relaxed.
"We've got to get the politicians and lawmakers to realise that their duty is to protect the community," he said.
"Otherwise our first responders and the public are still subject to the same dangers through these totally unnecessary weapons.
"This change needs to happen today, it needs to happen now."
Ashton said even though he had lived through the Aramoana massacre and seen his fair share of other gun-related violence and homicides during his time in the police, Friday's deadly attack left him reeling.
"It's beyond my comprehension," he said.
"We must love and be gentle with those who were involved because they will never fully recover.
"For some of them, they will forever think of their children in those last moments, experiencing abject terror… there's no words to describe that."
Ashton's son Chris, a police officer, died in July last year so he also feels keenly for parents who lost children in the attack.
Chris fully supported Ashton's crusade to bring change to gun laws.
"So few people need semi-automatic weapons - the only people who need those weapons are the police and armed forces.
"If you de-arm the community there will be less incidents like this, we have to do it now."
Ashton said, shockingly, the same kind of weapon Gray used at Aramoana could still be purchased in New Zealand today, prior to the Prime Minister's announcement.
The Norinco AK47, which Ashton said was similar to a Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifle, could be purchased online for around $700.
"That type of weapon does not need to exist in this country," he said.
"Without removing these types of weapons, the possibility of this kind of thing happening again exists."
For Ashton, the pain, suffering and loss he saw in Aramoana will be in his mind for the rest of his life.
It haunts him in a way, and he knows what the first responders of Christchurch will be going through.
It hurts his heart to see that this has happened again in a country that should be safe, and could have been if gun laws had been tightened up years ago.
"As far as the gunman is concerned, I have nothing to say about him," he said
"I won't even mention his name… he doesn't exist."
Mike Kyne, who was right there with Ashton in Aramoana all those years ago, also had the first responders in his thoughts in the wake of Friday.
"I'm very grateful the boys that arrested him didn't react by shooting him," he said.
"If that had happened overseas he'd be a colander by now…."
So do officers faced with the prospect of hunting down an armed mass killer feel fear?
Do they have to summon bravery and courage?
Are they heroic?
Kyne says no.
"They would have had the normal fears everyone else would have been having- but they were running towards the scene, not away from it," he said.
"They swore an oath to protect so when everyone else runs away from danger, they go towards it.
"What they rely on is that they back themselves, they back their training, they back their colleagues - they go in together and they will get through it.
"Do they panic? No, they don't, they process the information and proceed, they do what they've got to do."
When multiple people are lying dead and wounded - like in Christchurch and like in Aramoana - there is no time for emotion or drama.
Kyne says police are trained to put that aside and collect information, make decisions and act.
It's that simple.
Afterward, when the adrenalin rush subsides, when the noise fades, when the throng of people dissipate and you're on your own - that's when the feelings and reflection kicks in.
That's when the tears come, the trauma sets in.
"We are human beings, after all," he said
"Underneath the police uniform is a human being just like you and me and they may well have their private moment.
"What these police officers saw was horrific, absolutely horrific."'
Kyne said many people could never, and hopefully would never, fully comprehend the scene of a mass shooting.
He remembers Aramoana like it was yesterday.
He imagines Christchurch would have been similar in part.
"In video games and movies you see the acts but you don't see the blood but with real humans you do… there would have been a river of blood, they would have had to step through it.
"They would have had to remain professional and focused and immediately start to assess people and help rather than say 'oh my God, I can't do this."
Each and every first responder is highly trained to respond to incidents and Kyne said that training was designed to kick in when it mattered.
"It's instinctive, it's survival - there is a huge need to help people in a time of crisis and that was demonstrated perfectly by emergency services staff on Friday.
"The arresting officers would have reacted to what they saw, the decision to ram the gunman off the road would have probably taken them less than half a second.
"They would have known people had been shot but probably not how many, they may have believed there were multiple shooters - there would have been a lot of noise.
"But their focus would have narrowed when they saw that car, when the rammed him, when they dragged him out…. They reacted to what he did, to what they say.
"Did they stop and run when they saw the bombs in the back of the car? They did not, they carried on.
"They took a huge risk, but that's what we do, that's what's expected of the New Zealand police."
Kyne said Aramoana was "exactly the same" in terms of his response with Ashton and the others.
"We had training that gave us a coordinated process, it gave us procedures - what we can and can't do.
"We are dictated by what we see at any given time."
After they gunned down Gray, Kyne pulled his team in close.
It was important for them to have a moment before the next chapter started.
They had killed a man, it was a big deal. Huge.
"We walked away and I put my guys in a huddle to make sure they were all ok," he recalled.
"The adrenalin rush was high, we'd had hours of looking at bodies lying on the ground, walking through that.
"We pushed through that and had to focus on catching David Gray.
"So afterwards I got them together."
The team then headed off to talk through the massacre further.
Kyne said it was important for them to do that, to talk, process, share.
"I am a firm believer in talking things through," he said.
"There was a bit of grief, a bit of anger, a bit of black humour - all things that will happen in Christchurch too.
"It was also important to get them to talk to their wives, partners too to say that they were ok."
Kyne said at some point, the moment came when the magnitude of what had happened hit home.
It hit home hard and fast.
"Afterwards you kind of go 'holy hell… that was close'," he said.
"The adrenalin goes, you calm down and you start to reason it all out."
Kyne said the most important thing the Christchurch responders could do was get back to a routine.
Take a few days to get your head straight, he said, then get right back into life.
"After a couple of days I was straight back into routine," he said.
"It's important to get back to normal, it gives you something to do - and getting back to normal family life is absolutely vital… it gets people to put themselves and what happened into perspective."
Ashton and Kyne were forever changed by Aramoana, and they say the people involved in the Christchurch massacre will be the same.
Life will never be as it was before 1.40pm on Friday 15 March 2019.
"What happened, what they saw that day is not what anyone wants to ever see," said Kyne.
"They will live it out for the rest of their lives, as we still do."