All Black Sonny Bill Williams has posted an emotional message to those affected by today's Christchurch mosque shootings.
Williams, a devout Muslim who converted to Islam in 2008, uploaded a video to Twitter expressing his deepest sympathies to the victims and their families.
At least 49 people have been confirmed dead and 48 injured as a gunman opened fire in two different mosques in Christchurch this afternoon, right when they were at their busiest for afternoon prayers. Four people were takin into custody.
"My heart is hurting about the news coming out of Christchurch," he wrote in the post. "Sending love and prayers to the affected families."
Looking like he was in a state of shock, the 33-year-old struggled to express his emotions. ''I couldn't put into words how I'm feeling right now," he said as his voice broke.
Through tears, the father of three said he was sending duas to the families of the people affected. Dua, in Islamic religion, is the act of calling on God to assist ones in need.
"Inshallah (God willing) you guys are all in paradise."
"I'm just deeply, deeply saddened that this would happen in New Zealand," he concluded.
Williams has credited Islam with turning his life around after he converted 11 years ago. "I did a lot of bad things and went off course but Allah was with me," he told the Daily Mail in 2016
"I still feel like the same person but converting has given me contentment and happiness that I don't know how to explain."
With the death toll today's shootings likely to rise, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called this "one of New Zealand's darkest days."
A 28-year-old Australian man will appear in Christchurch district court tomorrow charged with the murders.
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