McLeansville couple loses relative in New Zealand mosque attack

MCLEANSVILLE, N.C. -- After days of watching coverage of the mosque massacre in Christchurch, Sandra Mannaravalappil said she was heartbroken to learn one of her relatives was among the 50 victims killed.

"It was like everything just stopped,” she said.

Mannaravalappil lives in McLeansville with her husband. She said they learned Sunday that his cousin, Ansi Alibava, was killed.

Alibava was attending Friday services with her new husband. Mannaravalappil said the young woman tried to run when the shooting started, but was shot outside of the building.

Alibava had just gotten her master's degree and planned to get a good job to help support her family still in India.

“This girl is never going to have children, she’s never going to have the married life she thought she was going to have, she’s never going to use her degree, she’s never going to help people grow food and help the way she wanted to, nothing,” Mannaravalappil said. “All that so she could go to a Friday service.”

She said she never had the chance to meet Alibava, but has been emotional knowing her life was cut short.

“It’s the kind of thing you just sit in the room and you cry, and you go, 'Why?'" she said.

Mannaravalappil called for the violence to stop, saying that too many families are impacted.

“People hurt all over the world because of this, because of one group of people with twisted ideas,” she said. “It’s not just 50 people, it’s the world.”

Mannaravalappil said her husband plans to travel to India in the coming weeks to be with family.

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