Christchurch terror attack witness describes trauma one week on

News 22/03/2019

A witness to the Christchurch terror attack says she's learned breathing techniques to cope with the stress.

Jill Keats was driving down Deans Ave when the shooting took place and provided first aid to injured people in the immediate aftermath.

"Not [feeling] wonderful, but I'm lucky I've got a sister who's a counsellor, Jeanette, and she's been wonderful, she's given me some breathing exercises and told me how to ground myself in the now," she told The AM Show.

"I feel quite blessed having family."

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Keats spoke to Newshub on the day of the attack and described seeing people get shot as they ran towards her, and witnessing one person dying on the side of the road.

"The guy I was compressing, he was trying to ring his wife and I managed to get it and answer the phone and I said, 'Your husband's been shot outside the mosque. Don't come here to Deans Ave, you won't get through - but please get to a hospital and wait for him'.

"Then I kept talking to him and telling him that she was at the hospital waiting and he wasn't to give up. We just kept pressure on him the best we could until we could get him some help.

"In the meantime, the poor guy across the road passed away."

Keats told The AM Show she wasn't comfortable being called a hero after the attack, as she believes others helped more than she did.

"[One man] went right along the road trying to do what he could, he was just amazing, so that's why I feel embarrassed when people call me a hero, I just sort of hid round the back of the car really."

But people around her are assuring her that her actions were brave.

"I would like to think anyone else in the same situation would step up, but my sister said no, she would have run, and quite a few people have [said that too]."