A man whose father was killed in yesterday's terror attack in Christchurch says it was a "cowardly act".

The son arrived at the Christchurch District Court, where a man charged with murder is due to appear.

Yama Nabi said his father opened one of the first mosques in Christchurch.

He missed his first Friday prayer yesterday and was not there when his father was killed.

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Yama told the Herald he was running late to prayer and when he approached he saw the cordon.

Yama said the killer was "heartless".

"Who could do something like that?"

"I parked my car and started running, and saw police," Yama said.

"I was running and I saw women being shot; a little kid."

"I saw my Mum and she said Dad didn't make it."

Haji Daoud Nabi was killed in the Christchurch mosque shootings yesterday. The 71-year-old is pictured here with one of his grandsons, who was not at the mosque. Photo / Supplied
Haji Daoud Nabi was killed in the Christchurch mosque shootings yesterday. The 71-year-old is pictured here with one of his grandsons, who was not at the mosque. Photo / Supplied

Yama's father was Haji Daoud Nabi.

"His body has not been released yet," Yama said.

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Yama and his brother said they were at court to see the man charged with murder.

Omar Nabi, Yama's brother, described the killing as a "cowardice act".

His father, 71, was a refugee from Afghanistan and a senior member of the local Islamic community.

"I need closure on this," Omar said.

"It's outrageous to me. Forty-nine people got killed - kids and grown ups shot in the back while praying. It is a cowardly act."

Yama said the killer was "heartless".

"Who could do something like that?"

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