But on Friday, as he was praying at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch, an armed man started shooting indiscriminately at worshipers – first outside the mosque, then through the windows as women and children huddled inside, screaming.
Khan said He dragged one injured child out of danger and was holding a man who was shot in the arm when the gunman returned.
"The Wounded Man" was asking for some water. I told him to "calm down, The police are here now 'and stuff. And the gunman came through the window again while I held him and shot him in the head. And he was dead, "Khan told CNN.
Many people in a different city have ties to the community that stretch back generations.
Khan was not the only member of his family touched by the shootings. A few blocks away, at the Al Noor mosque, Khan's uncle is believed to be one of 41 people gunned down there while praying.
On Saturday, families waited patiently as officials worked to identify bodies.
"We felt it was such a safe city, such a safe country," a 30-year -old construction project manager, who did not want to be named, told CNN. "The hatred has spread everywhere."
'Terrifying, absolutely terrifying'
New Zealanders have rallied around their fellow citizens in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy laying flowers
A makeshift memorial grew in the center of the main street below the traffic light that flashed orange to indicate roads leading to the mosque were closed. 19659012] Sue Harrison, a resident of Christchurch, heard a shotgun from her house, where her car was still parked in the driveway of her property behind the Deans Avenue mosque.
She remembers listening to the soothing chant of the afternoon prayers when it was broken by gunshots. Harrison called the police and hid in her house as the gunman worked his way through the mosque, shooting as many people as he could.
"The time the shots were happening, it was terrifying, absolutely terrifying," Harrison said. "There was almost immediate sense that they are being targeted."
Harrison's 19-year-old son, Zin South, heard reports that a gunman was at the mosque. He remembered his mother was at their property waiting to meet a contractor. He texted her. She was safe.
Then he saw the video broadcast live from a camera fixed to the gunman's helmet.
"I could not believe that the guy literally parked in our driveway and walked into the mosque, walked back to our driveway and back into the mosque, "South said.
When the police arrived, they helped Harrison get out of the house and over the back of the fence. "She was not allowed to leave (by the front) because there was literally bodies lying in the driveway," her son said.
The family says that there's no way that the house can be their home now.
Tears and support
Amid the flowers at the roadblock on Saturday was a homemade sign printed on a piece of A4 paper titled "No To Hate and Terror."
"If New Zealand is like a "The sign says.
The author, Deepak Sharma, was standing nearby."
The author, Deepak Sharma, was standing next to the ship. holding an identical copy. He moved from India to New Zealand 10 years ago, and told CNN, "This is not the country we chose to immigrate to."
Other locals say the attempt to divide them will only make their community stronger .
Hari Sasidharan wears a long beard. He's not Muslim but said a number of residents had stopped him on the street that morning to ask him if he was. "Do not worry, we're with you," they said.
Outside Christchurch hospital, two men were shaking hands with relatives of the victims as they walked out after meetings with health officials. They were there for support, they said. "What happened was awful. It should not happen."
By the evening, New Zealand police were clearing flowers from the roadblock and issuing requests that no one would donate more food to families. They already had more than they could use.