Christchurch shooting: Two officers who captured alleged mosque gunman given bravery awards

Two officers who captured the alleged mosque gunman have on Wednesday been given bravery awards. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has presented the awards to the officers, who have continued name suppression, in a private ceremony.

The officers have known each other for many years, played rugby together, and say they totally trusted each other's abilities.

They dragged the alleged gunman from a suspicious car in Brougham St, after the shootings at Christchurch's Al Noor and Linwood mosques.

In a statement released by the Police Association, the officers, identified as "officers A and B", said they were extremely proud to be acknowledged. They also acknowledged their colleagues, first responders and the public for their courageous actions on March 15.

"We were doing our job and were part of a huge and focused operation which resulted in the arrest of the alleged gunman.

"In doing our job we represented all police staff around the country who put themselves in harm's way every day.

"For us, knowing we played our part in possibly preventing further casualties is really important."

The officers sent their condolences to those torn apart by the shooting.

"Our hearts go out to you all."

The Police Association says the officers responded with outstanding bravery, that protected many others from further harm.

"All officers wonder how they would respond when faced with a split-second decision to risk their lives," association president Chris Cahill said.

The alleged gunman crashed 3km from where the original shooting took place.
The alleged gunman crashed 3km from where the original shooting took place. Photo credit: Newshub.

"I am sure all New Zealanders will join the association in thanking these officers for their truly courageous actions."

The trial for the alleged gunman, who faces 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act, is due to start on June 2 next year.