Toddler, 2, clings to wounded dad who shielded him from New Zealand gunman

A toddler clings to his dad to check he is alive, after his father was shot several times while shielding him from the Christchurch terrorist.

In a tender moment after Friday’s brutal shooting, little Averroes, two, clambers on top of Zulfirman Syah’s chest, places a hand on his heart and looks into his eyes for signs of life.

The image is from a video taken after the assault, which shows victims strewn across a blood-splattered carpet as cries ring out.

Zulfirman, known as Jul, who arrived in New Zealand with his family from Indonesia just two months ago, saved his son’s life by leaping on him as shooting began at Linwood Islamic Centre.

Averroes was hit in the leg and buttock by shrapnel, possibly from the bullets that struck his dad.

Zulfirman’s wife, Alta Marie, 33, said both her son and her artist husband were recovering.

She wrote on Facebook: “My husband shielded our son, which caused him to receive most of the bullets and much more complex injuries than our son.

“He is in stable condition following extensive exploratory and reconstructive surgery.

“While the road to recovery will be long, his condition has only improved since he arrived at hospital.”

American-born Alta Marie was reunited with her son after hours of searching for information.

She added: “He had surgery to extract some shrapnel, while checking for internal injuries.

“He is recovering nicely and has been cheerful while keeping staff on the children’s ward entertained with his talkative and energetic nature.

“I am grateful my family are alive.”

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