GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS DETAILS WHICH READERS MIGHT FIND UPSETTING
As Musa Vali Suleman Patel bled to death on the floor of the Linwood Islamic Centre his wife Saira tried frantically to save his life with her bare hands.
He had been shot in the back and was bleeding "horrendously".
Saira Patel pushed hard on the gaping bullet hole that had torn into the back of her "soulmate", piercing through his skin and into his bones.
She screamed for help, she begged paramedics to save him, to operate then and there.
And then the police arrived and she had to leave, stepping over bloodied, dying, wounded bodies to get to safety.
Hours later at the hospital she could not find him, and the reality started to hit her – her love may not have survived.
Saira Patel and her sons Ikram and Irfan were among the first 24 people to read their Victim Impact Statements in court at the first day of the sentencing for Christchurch mass murderer Brenton Harrison Tarrant. The sentencing has finished for today and will resume at 10am tomorrow.
Saira and Musa Patel had been married for 37 years and raised five children.
They were grandparents to three young children.
They were at the Linwood Islamic Centre when Tarrant stormed the building and opened fire on March 15 2019.
"I heard a gunshot… at first I thought a tyre had blown out but when I heard more shots, I knew it was a gun," she said.
"I was the first one to yell 'somebody's shooting, somebody's shooting'.
"The shooter kept firing and went around the mosque looking for an entrance… my husband had been yelling to everyone to get down on the floor.
"I knew at that moment that we were all going to die in seconds."
She grabbed her phone and messaged her children telling her there was a shooter, that she and Musa were going to die, that they loved them - and to get help.
Then she stretched both of her arms out to her husband and beckoned to him to come and sit with her.
"So we could die together," she explained.
Soon, Musa Patel joined his wife.
"He came and sat next to me. I saw horrific blood pouring from his mouth and nose… I realised he had been shot… I didn't know which part of the body.
"I pulled my husband on top of me and screamed "help, help, please help.'.
"It was extremely painful to feel so helpless while watching your soulmate take his last breath."
Paramedics arrived and Saira Patel begged them to save her husband.
He was able to tell paramedics – in a soft voice as the life drained from him - his name and that he had been shot in the back.
"I pulled his shirt up and saw the bullet… the bullet was very visible as it had pierced itself inside the bones… pressed both my hands on the bullet holes but my hands kept slipping off because of the heavy blood flow," she recalled.
"At first I thought they would operate right there and then…. And take him to hospital.
"I thought this was New Zealand and my husband would be saved… I held on to my husband's arms for about 10 minutes…. Until I was asked by the police to go outside."
She was taken to Christchurch Hospital where she frantically searched for her husband, the father of her five children.
"I was terrified… it was completely chaotic… wounded and dead people kept arriving in ambulances."
"The scene was a war zone with wailing and family members of the deceased fainting while received news of the deaths of their loves ones. "
It would take days for authorities to confirm that Musa Patel was among the dead.
Saira Patel said the death of her husband had put her in a "life imprisonment" of sadness and loneliness.
Shortly before the shooting the couple had decided to go and live in Australia where all their children were located.
They went to Christchurch to visit relatives before they left.
The visit turned to absolute tragedy.
Ikram Patel – who lives in Australia - had his statement read next and spoke of parents who had worked hard to build a deeply moral and strong family.
"He died in the arms of his wife of nearly 37 years," Ikram said.
"Not only did he die in the embrace of his wife but in the embrace of Allah."
Musa Patel was a renowned and respected imam.
His son said he was a man who provided and example of "faith, strength and love".
He was born in India but moved to Fiji.
They then settled in New Zealand.
He instilled high work ethics and values in his children who all live and work in Australia.
"My father's grandchildren will now never know the love and guidance of this caring man," Ikram said.
"Whilst my father would respect others rights to worship and believe… he was not to be afforded the same courtesy.
"The mass shooting… sent shock waves across the world. Described as a terrorist attack… it targeted people peacefully worshipping and practising their religion which is a fundamental right.
"The attack that took my father from his family was against his core values.
"Forgiveness is a tenet of Islam, but I cannot forgive this attacker."
Ikram Patel worried about the impact of the tragedy on Musa's three grandchildren.
"While we enjoy democracy in New Zealand, this does not give licence to a violent and hatred minority to trample the core of people's democratic rights," he said.
Irfan Patel's recorded statement was played.
He said the attack was "like living a nightmare with everything coming to a stop".
Receiving the message from his mother saying she and his father were about to die and "we love you all" was horrendous.
"Within hours of the shooting we had rung far and wide in search of hope that my father had survived the shooting ... Our search was a dead end," he said.
Irfan said three months before the massacre his father officiated at his wedding.
He spoke of his mother going to hospital barefoot, bereft and "with nothing but a bloodstained purse".
Irfan got to Christchurch and was finally able to confirm his father had been killed.
"This just sends chills to my spine ... life may not be precious for the killer, but it is for us," he said.
"I was finally able to see my father ... his body cold as ice, with blood flakes stuck on his face and body ... this was the time I totally broke up.
"The most important decision maker, the pillar of our lives and my role model was killed in front of my mother.
"Every morning I wake up to a feeling of emptiness and loss.
"Since this incident I have struggled to cope with life."
Irfan said the events that unfolded left a huge hole in his family – and his future children would never meet their grandfather.
He wanted to make sure Tarrant knew the damage he had done, not just to the Patel family but to all families who had to see a loved one in a mortuary, blood stained and with bullet wounds.
All at the hands of "a merciless killer".