'It happened so fast': Brother mourns for 3yo boy killed in Christchurch terror attack

Families of the victims face the harrowing task of preparing for funerals.

The first bodies of the victims are being returned to their loved ones on Sunday night.

One of the dead is Mucad Ibrahim. He's a three-year-old boy gunned down in his place of worship.

The Christchurch-born son of Somali immigrants who came here in the early 1990s, he was just an innocent kid being looked after by his big brother Abdi.

"I took him to the Friday prayer. We were there... I was right next to him. It was intense, it just happened so fast," Abdi told Newshub.

"Everything was going too fast, I just thought it was fireworks. And everyone was running... Just started to run... And just lost the boy."

Mucad was one of 50 killed in the massacre. He's believed to be the youngest of the dead, helpless in the line of the gunman's fire.

"The New Zealand public and the whole world has been supporting. We appreciate all the love and support,"Abdi says.

"I've been here almost 25 years and I've never seen anything like this. New Zealanders are so caring and nice. I'm grateful they have helped us through the support."

There are survivors too; four-year-old girl Alin Daraghmeh was one of them. She's in a critical condition in Starship Hospital after being shot.

Her father Wassium was shot as well. He's in a critical condition in Christchurch. They are from Jordan, friend Jacob Stanley says. They came here for a better future.

But for those that did not survive comes burial.

Islamic custom means the bodies are washed by their friends, wrapped in a white sheet to symbolise taking nothing from the world.

Following custom, the bodies will be buried with no coffin, and then wood placed on top of the earth over the bodies. Muslim clerics like Sheikh Amjad Ali are here to help.

"Each individual will be religiously washed... basically to be made pure," he says.

A site is being prepared at Memorial Cemetery. Graves for 50 with their bodies made pure - including a boy called Mucad.