The two New Zealand police officers who managed to arrest a man accused of killing 51 people at two mosques have been given bravery awards.
The officers, whose names cannot be revealed pending the trial of the alleged perpetrator Brenton Tarrant, dragged the suspect out of the car and arrested him following the mass shooting in Christchurch in March.
They had been chasing the gunman after shootings at two mosques in the city on the country’s south island.
The pair, known as Officer A and B, have known each other for “many years” and had played rugby together.
In a statement, they said: “We had total trust in each other’s abilities, and total faith that the other would do their job and continue to go forward regardless of what we encountered.”
“We were doing our job and were part of a huge and focused operation which resulted in the arrest of the alleged gunman.”
They added their families were proud of their courage.
“To those families who were torn apart by this event, through death or injury, our hearts go out to you all”, they said.
“As officers our job is to keep New Zealanders safe so when we can’t do that, it cuts deep.”
They received their awards during the New Zealand Police Association’s annual conference in Wellington from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.