A father has spoken through tears of his "brave little soldier," a 14-year-old boy who died at the Al Noor Mosque.
Sayyad Milne, a student at Cashmere High School in Year 10, was at the mosque he attended with his mother and friends every Friday.
His father John Milne told NZME through tears: "I've lost my little boy, he's just turned 14."
"I haven't heard officially yet that he's actually passed but I know he has because he was seen," he said.
"[I'm] keeping it together and tears are helping. people are helping. Just by being here, it is helping."
He said Sayyad was a keen football player.
"I remember him as my baby who I nearly lost when he was born. Such a struggle he's had throughout all his life. he's been unfairly treated but he's risen above that and hes very brave. A brave little soldier. It's so hard... to see him just gunned down by someone who didn't care about anyone or anything.
"I know where he is. I know he's at peace."
He said he was told Sayyad was lying on the floor in the mosque, bleeding from the lower parts of his body.
Milne said he has been carrying around a sign which reads "everyone love everyone"
The principal of Cashmere High is going to visit the family soon.
"The community is shattered. The Muslim community just don't know what to do, where to go, what's happened. They're finding it very hard to accept but there is so much support from so many different people, people who aren't Muslim. Support across the board.
"But we are the most beautiful city rising out of the dust. We will go forward. this won't bring us down. It will make us even stronger. United we stand, divided we fall... the city is going to be a symbol of what it can do after it has been hit and hit and hit."
Milne's other son usually went to the mosque but was on a school trip. His twin sister was at school when it happened.