Sydney siege: Who were the victims?

Gunman Man Haron Monis took 18 people hostage in a cafe in Sydney's Martin Place on 15 December. He held them for 17 hours before police raided the building.

Most people escaped or were freed by police, but two hostages died during the siege. An inquest has heard that Monis shot Tori Johnson in the head, and that Katrina Dawson was killed by ricocheting police bullets. Monis was shot dead by police.

The BBC profiles the two hostages who died.

Katrina Dawson: 'Confident, courageous'

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Image caption Katrina Dawson had three young children

Katrina Dawson, 38, had been having coffee with a pregnant colleague when the gunman walked in to the Lindt Chocolat Cafe. The coroner's inquest heard she was killed when a major blood vessel was hit by shrapnel from the police gunfire.

Ms Dawson had three young children with her husband, Paul Smith.

She worked at Eight Selbourne chambers in the Central Business District, not far from the cafe.

Three members of chambers were held hostage, according to a statement from the New South Wales Bar Association.

"Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends," said the association.

Ms Dawson was a highly regarded commercial barrister as well as a volunteer legal worker in Redfern for many years.

On Tuesday, the Redfern Legal Centre tweeted: "She's remembered as one of our best volunteers who was well liked by all."

The University of New South Wales, which Ms Dawson was an alumna of, also released a statement calling her "an exceptional student... remembered with much fondness by staff and other colleagues".

Ms Dawson had graduated from the university in 2004 with a Master of Law, specialising in human rights and social justice.

The Sydney Morning Herald carried a tribute from Australia's former Governor-General Quentin Bryce, who was the Women's College principal at the University of Sydney when Ms Dawson was studying there as an undergraduate.

"Brilliant mind, joie de vivre spilling over, talented sportswoman, one of those rare natural leaders. Confident, courageous, out-front, articulate, warm and funny, but thoughtful, gentle and understanding too."

Ms Bryce added: "I admired her strength of purpose and character. We knew she had a great future ahead of her, a life of achievement and contribution."

She expressed concern for Ms Dawson's loved ones as well. "Oh the tragic loss, the deepest sadness, the awful grief for her family who gave her joy, happiness, a true sense of security. How will they bear the unbearable?"

"We will wrap our arms around them to give them strength."

Tori Johnson: 'Much loved'

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Image caption Mr Johnson was the manager of the Lindt Chocolat Cafe

Tori Johnson had worked at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe for two years. Before that he had worked at various restaurants in Sydney and the US.

There were early unconfirmed media reports that Mr Johnson died as he tried to wrestle the weapon away from the gunman in order to help other hostages escape.

The inquest on 29 December heard that he was in fact shot in the head after being forced to kneel by Monis.

His parents have said their son will live forever in their memories.

"We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori," their statement said. "The most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for."

His parents also thanked police, armed forces and emergency services for their "tireless efforts" and the public for their response to the shootings.

"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," they said.

Lindt Australia chief executive Steve Loane said in a Facebook statement that Mr Johnson, a manager at the cafe, had been "much loved" by his team and cared passionately about his job. "His loss is absolutely tragic."

Mr Loane, who met with staff members who worked with Mr Johnson on Tuesday, later told ABC News that employees were struggling to cope with his death.

"Sadness, just the most profound, deep sadness I've seen. Obviously just a lot of very close relationships with Tori and certainly the saddest day I've ever had in 17 years at Lindt," he said.

Mr Johnson had previously worked at Adria Rybar and Grill in Sydney. Former colleague Tony Manno told ABC News he had been shattered to hear the news of his death.

"Tori was a great guy, a good guy to be around," he said.

Another former colleague Peter Manettas said Mr Johnson was "a very selfless manager... he put his staff first in everything that he did."


How the 16-hour Sydney siege unfolded

  • 1. At 09:45 on Monday local time (22:45 GMT Sunday) police are called to the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney following reports of an armed robbery. It soon emerges a gunman is holding a number of people hostage.
  • 2. Between 16:00-17:00, three men, then two women, sprint to safety from the cafe's side door - a fire exit.
  • 3. Just after 02:00 on Tuesday, a loud bang is heard from the cafe and special operations officers advance towards the side door.
  • 4. More hostages escape, running to safety on Elizabeth Street.
  • 5. Moments later, commandos storm the cafe via a number of entrances. The remaining hostages escape.
  • 6. Police officially confirm the end of the siege at 02:45 local time. They later report the deaths of three people, including the gunman.

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