"If humanity had a face": The woman showing the world what Christchurch is made of.

Mamamia has chosen not to show the face of the man in custody for the Christchurch terror attack, or to include or link to any distressing material about his acts. Instead, we are dedicated to remembering the names, faces and stories of the victims.

For 24-hour mental health crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Yes, there’s a video still circulating on social media that captures all the horror and violence of Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch. It’s the one the Australian-born terrorist would want you to see, the one he thinks will help spread the hateful worldview that compelled the murder of 49 people at two of the quiet city’s mosques.

But there’s another video that has emerged in wake of the shooting. It’s still confronting, upsetting, but not in the same way. It shows the humanity that thrived in the immediate aftermath, it shows what Christchurch and New Zealand are really made of.

At the centre of it is a woman, identified only as Jill. She was an eyewitness to the shooting at the Deans Avenue mosque. A journalist from Bloomberg captured her story, which was shared via TicToc, the network’s Twitter-based news service.


Jill explained to the outlet that she was driving near the mosque when she heard what sounded like firecrackers, and saw people running toward her. Two men collapsed either side of her car. She ducked, as a bullet sailed over her vehicle.

With the help of another bystander she dragged the men behind her car, leaving her doors open and boot up, like shields. The other bystander crouched and ran back to his car for a first-aid kit. One of the men had been shot in the back; they focused on him, applying a dressing and pressure.

“A nice Muslim guy came and give us some help as well, because you have to put quite a bit of pressure on. My poor old hands were shaking that hard. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do a good job,” she said.

“And the worst thing was, we could hear the ambulances, but they couldn’t get to us.”


The wounded man reached for his phone.

“I managed to get it and I answered the phone, and I said to her, ‘Your husband’s been shot outside the mosque. Don’t come here to Deans Ave – you won’t get through, but please go to the hospital and wait for him,'” she said.

“And then I kept talking to him and telling him that she was at the hospital waiting, and he wasn’t to give up.”

Jill and the other survivor maintained pressure on the wound until help finally arrived. In the meantime, the man on the other side of the road passed away.

“I’m 66 and I never thought in my life I would live to see something like this,” Jill said, her voice catching. “Not in New Zealand.”

“I wish I could have done more.”

It’s unclear what happened to the man whom she and others risked their lives to help. But when the journalist commended Jill for what she did, called her a hero, she shook her head.

“No I’m not. No,” she said, tears flowing. “You do what what you do at the time. I wish I could have done more.”

Jill may have been reluctant to accept the title, but many commenting on and sharing TicToc’s video (which has been liked more than 29,000 times) were more than willing to bestow it regardless.

“I wish this would be the lasting imagine that people take away from today’s terrorist atrocity – a brave 66-year old lady, calmly and compassionately explaining how total strangers came together to help their neighbours,” one person wrote. “Heroes, every one of them.”


“A human with big heart. May God bless you for your bravery and give you the strength to overcome this situation,” another added.

And this, simply: “If humanity had a face.”


For 24-hour mental health crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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