When security forces stormed the Lindt café in the early hours of Tuesday morning to bring an end to the Sydney siege, a number of hostages were injured and two were killed. The gunman was also killed.
The two hostages who were fatally wounded have been named by police as Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, both pictured above (via Facebook).
38-year-old Dawson was a mother of three who worked as a barrister. 34-year old Johnson was the manager of the Lindt café where the siege took place. He had returned to Australia in 2004 after working and studying overseas for three years.
The president of the NSW bar Association, Jane Needham SC, paid tribute to Dawson in a statement:
“Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar. 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.
The family of Tori Johnson have released a statement through journalist Ben Fordham, expressing their thanks to police and thoughts for the Dawson family:
“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. We feel heartfelt sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson. 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. Our deepest gratitude to the NSW police, armed forces and paramedics for their tireless efforts. We ask that the media respects our privacy in this difficult time. Let us all pray for peace on Earth.”
A number of other hostages involved in the siege received gunshot wounds. A 39-year-old man received a minor facial wound due to a gunshot and has been released from hospital. Three other people, two middle aged woman and an elderly woman, received single gunshots and are in a stable condition in hospital.
Two of the hostages were pregnant women in their 30s. They are understood not to have been shot but were assessed in hospital and are also in a stable condition.
The gunman at the centre of the siege, Man Haron Monis, was also killed when security personnel stormed the café at about 2:15am local time, ending the standoff.
Well-wishers from the public have been laying flowers and tributes near the scene of the drama, while NSW State and Federal buildings have been ordered to fly their flags at half-mast in honour of the victims.
Also see: Timeline of Sydney siege events