Youngest victim of mosque massacre, 3, was ‘smart beyond his years’

As details surface about the victims of a rampage in a New Zealand mosque, a story is also surfacing about the youngest to lose his life

New Zealand
Mucaad Ibrahim (Photo: AP)

Mucaad Ibrahim was only three years old when a white supremacist gunned him down in an unprovoked racist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. The toddler, believed to be the youngest victim of the 50 killed in the attack at two mosques, died while running for his life, reports say.

But a larger story is emerging about the boy, making him more than just a victim. Known for his keen intellect and energetic disposition, his older brother Abdi Ibrahim said little Mucaad loved to smile and play a lot, according to the U.K. Mirror.

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Ahmed Osman, a close family friend, said Mucaad used to cheer him and his brother on as they played soccer Friday nights at a park near the mosque, according to the Associated Press.

“He’s been loved by the community here,” said Osman. “It’s been tough days. It’s been really tough days.”

Aden said that his brother was happy and was always laughing. He said the boy loved technology, particularly an iPad, and was smart beyond his years.

“He was very approachable,” Osman said. “He is easygoing to talk to.”

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Tragically, Mucaad became separated from his older brother and their father when the shooting began at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Friday, according to The Mirror. Aden and Mucaad’s father escaped getting massacred by lying on the ground and playing dead.

When a barrage of bullets rang out, Abdi and his father began to run. He said he thought his dad had Mucad, but in the frantic rush, the three got separated.

In total, 50 lives were lost in the massacre and 39 others were hospitalized. Police say accused terrorist Brenton Tarrant planned and attacked two mosques, and describe his motivation in an online manifesto in which he spoke of “white genocide” that was driven by “mass immigration.” He also called President Trump a symbol of “white identity,” and said one of his inspirations was Black conservative activist Candace Owens.

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Meanwhile, Osman said the entire community has rallied behind the family and the support is helping to get them through this tragedy.

“My mum, she’s been struggling,” Abdi told the AP. “Every time she sees other people crying, emotional, she just collapses.”