Cafe manager Tori Johnson was killed attempting to disarm the gunman. Source: Supplied
THE manager of the Lindt cafe who was fatally shot in the Martin Place siege is being praised as a hero, responsible for allowing others trapped in the cafe to escape.
Tori Johnson, 34, was wrestling a gun from hostage-taker Man Haron Monis when he was killed.
It is understood the cafe manager decided to take action when the gunman began to doze off after the siege had been ongoing for 17 hours.
He lunged at the hostage-taker’s weapon, allowing others to flee.
He was one of two hostages killed in the siege, with 38-year-old lawyer Katrina Dawson also fatally shot.
His family has expressed their sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson too. Source: ABC
The parents of the siege hero have released a statement describing their pride in their “beautiful boy”.
“We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for,” the statement released through 2GB presenter Ben Fordham read.
“We’d like to thank not only our friends and loved ones for their support, but the people of Sydney; Australia and those around the world for reaching out with their thoughts and prayers.”
Details are continuing to emerge about what happened inside the cafe, after a teenage hostage conveyed the demands of the gunman.
In a series of chilling two-minute phone calls, the 19-year-old told The Daily Telegraph the hostage-taker’s demands, including a call for an Islamic State flag to be delivered and an audience with Tony Abbott.
Katrina Dawson was the second hostage killed. Source: Supplied
Family of injured hostages arrive at hospital. Picture: Chris McKeen Source: News Corp Australia
The hostage also detailed the gunman’s stark threats as he grew aggravated when hostages fled.
“He says an eye for an eye; if someone else runs, someone dies,’’ the 19-year-old said.
“I have had a shotgun put at my head and all (he) wants is (the demands met). We are all afraid, I don’t think you have ever had a shotgun placed at your head. Yes we do need help, but that will only happen if demands are met. We have been treated very well.”
And then an alarming end to the first call, the teen’s voice creaky in trepidation. “He’s coming now. Bye.”
The second hostage killed has been identified as barrister Katrina Dawson. The 38-year-old mother-of-three is the sister of well-known Sydney lawyer Sandy Dawson.
Ms Dawson was tragically killed trying to defend her pregnant colleague, Julie Taylor.
The NSW Bar Association released a statement this morning. “Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar,” said Bar president Jane Needham SC in the statement.
“She was a devoted mother of three children, and a valued member of her floor and of our Bar community.
“Our thoughts are with her family at this time, including her brother, Sandy Dawson of Banco Chambers.”
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione at the Martin Place flower memorial. Governor-general Peter Cosgrove and NSW Premier Mike Baird have also paid tribute at the scene. Source: News Corp Australia
The barrister had been having coffee with her pregnant colleague when the cafe was taken over by the gunman. Her children, aged eight, five and three, were being informed of the tragic outcome this morning, The Australian reports.
Two pregnant women, aged 35 and 30, were among the 17 hostages. Both have been assessed and are stable, police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn confirmed.
One of those was Ms Taylor, a colleague of Ms Dawson. Another lawyer, Stefan Balafoutis, has been named as one of the surviving hostages.
Others who have been identified are Marcia Mikhael, who was forced to send out a chilling video plea detailing the gunman’s request yesterday, and Elly Chen, 22, one of two female Lindt workers who fled the cafe yesterday.
Another of the hostages to run to safety was Viswakanth Ankireddy, a 32-year-old from India, who lives in Sydney. Mr Ankireddy was heading to work at Westpac where he was working on a project. He is employed by multinational tech giant Infosys.
His father told media he only knew his son was safe when he saw him escape on live television.
Four Westpac employees were among the hostages. CEO Gail Kelly this morning confirmed all of them were safe and accounted for.
Sunshine Coast woman Harriette Denny, 30, joined Mr Ankireddy in running from the cafe just before shots were fired inside and police stormed in.
Miss Denny, who worked at the cafe, was one of the hostages who were seen pressed against the glass of the Lindt cafe yesterday.
Her father Robert Denny posted on Facebook of his relief but said the family would not be celebrating out of respect to those who had been killed.
“Harriette lost a valued friend and work colleague and our hearts go out to his family and the family of the lady who lost her life,” he said.
NSW Police released an update on the six people injured:
A 75-year-old female who received a gunshot wound to the shoulder — stable condition.
A 52-year-old female who received a gunshot wound to the foot — stable condition.
A 43-year-old female with a gunshot wound to the leg — stable condition
A 39-year-old male who received a minor facial injury due to gunshot — treated at hospital and discharged.
A 35-year-old pregnant female assessed for health and welfare purposes — stable.
A 30-year-old pregnant female assessed for health and welfare purposes — stable.
A police officer who was seen with blood streaming from his head was taken to hospital and treated for a gunshot wound to the face. He has since been discharged and has vowed to be back at work tomorrow.
Three people were killed, including gunman Monis, after heavily armed police stormed the Martin Place cafe after shooting began just after 2am.
Police confirmed two hostages and the hostage-taker died and four others were injured during the operation that brought the siege at the Lindt cafe to an end.
A man was seen running out with his hands up before a crowd of hostages followed. A short burst of gunfire and flash grenades were heard as police stormed the building before declaring the siege over at around 2.45am.
Paramedics treat an injured hostage. Source: AFP
Mr Johnson and Ms Dawson were pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.
The 50-year-old hostage-taker, who was known to police as a self-styled preacher of Islamic State on bail for an accessory to murder charge, was also pronounced dead at hospital.
Two women were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and another woman is being treated for a gunshot wound to her shoulder.
Addressing media this morning, Commissioner Scipione confirmed police were treating the operation as a critical incident and an investigation was underway.
“We need to actually find out what’s happened here and what’s happened inside that cafe,” he said.
The Commissioner assured Sydneysiders this was an “isolated incident” and urged that this incident not “bring about any loss of confidence about working or visiting in our city”.
Commissioner Scipione said his thoughts were with the hostages and their families, innocent people “who were just buying a cup of coffee and got caught up in this dreadful affair”.
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione have confirmed details of the operation this morning. Source: News Corp Australia
Premier Mike Baird has also addressed media, paying tribute to the families of the deceased and hostages, and rallying the people of NSW to “come together like never before”.
“We will get through this. The events we have seen have shaken us, but do not dampen our resolve,” he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott released a statement this morning following briefings with the NSW premier and police commissioner.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two deceased hostages, the wounded and the other hostages,” he said.
“I commend the courage and the professionalism of the New South Wales Police and other emergency services.”
Mr Abbott will travel to Sydney early this afternoon to be further briefed by NSW police and other security agencies.
Hostages run for their lives. Source: AP
Lindt CEO Ernst Tanner released a statement this morning, expressing his “deepest sympathy to the victims and their families”.
“In these difficult times we all need to stand together in order to defend the values of freedom, peace and tolerance,” he said.
The company has offered support for victims and their families, as well as staff affected.
Authorities have commenced an extensive investigation and are currently attempting to assess the damage and arrange urgent medical attention for the hostages and police.
It is believed the area has now been cleared for risk of explosives and floral tributes have began to be laid outside the exclusion zone at Martin Place.
Police have been reluctant to reveal details of what prompted them to storm the building, but it has been reported hostages took the opportunity to escape as their captor begun to doze off.
Television footage initially showed a man running from the eatery with his arms raised, shortly after 2am before being patted down by police and escorted to safety.
Minutes later, two more men and two women raced outside and were directed away by police.
Their escape was followed by about 40 seconds of rapid gunfire as heavily-armed police stormed the cafe in numbers, managing to release others.
Two armed tactical response officers stand ready to enter the Lindt cafe. Source: AP
A woman, apparently middle-aged, was carried from the scene injured.
A second volley of shots erupted before the cafe filled with police and paramedics.
Stretchers were wheeled into the building to treat the injured and a bomb disposal robot was sent into the cafe by police.
Mr Scipione said police had no choice but to enter the building, after hearing gunshots and fearing hostages had been hit.
“They made the call because they believed at that time if they didn’t enter it would have been many more lives lost,” he said.
More hostages make a run for it. Source: Supplied
The 50-year-old, originally from Iran and living in southwest Sydney, had previously sent offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers, calling them ‘murderers’, The Daily Telegraph says.
He had a sawn-off shotgun and was a fringe Islamist, The Australian and Sky News reported.
‘Sheik’ Man Haron Monis Source: DailyTelegraph
The self-proclaimed IS leader’s former lawyer has described his warped outlook, saying Monis was committed to his causes, and truly believed that by sending offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers he would “get the families on side and they would assist him”.
‘Hate sheik’ Man Horan Monis and girlfriend Amirzh Droudis granted bail
‘Sheik’ Man Haron Monis leaves Downing Centre Court after pleading guilty to sending offensive letters to families of dead Diggers. Source: News Limited
The hostages’ ordeal began at around 10am on Monday when Monis entered the Lindt cafe and reportedly withdrew a shotgun from a blue bag.
Throughout the day, hostages were seen pressed against the windows of the Lindt cafe, captured first by the Seven Network from their Martin Place studio directly opposite the location.
Some were forced to contact news outlets by telephone, record videos and use social media to relay the gunman’s demands.
At one stage a woman was used as a human shield as the gunman moved around inside the cafe.
Hostages were forced to hold an Islamic flag against the windows in turn.
Five hostages managed to escape yesterday, running from the back service door of the cafe into the arms of heavily armed police officers outside.
Hostages forced to stand against the windows of the Lindt cafe yesterday. Source: Supplied
From 8pm the building was in darkness with the 12 remaining hostages and gunman inside.
Heavily armed police and other authorities waited outside alert to any activity going on in the cafe.
As shots were heard and hostages fled just after 2am they sprung into action.
Although he was “well known” to police, deputy commissioner Catherine Burn said his motivations were still unknown.
“We don’t know at this point exactly what his motivations were,” she told reporters in Sydney.
“This is a man that we do believe had some extremist views and we also believe that he was unstable.”