Katrina Dawson, Tori Johnson identified as victims in deadly Sydney siege
WATCH: A day after a lone gunman held people hostage in Sydney, Australia, the country is mourning the victims. Others are asking questions, such as why the gunman wasn’t flagged as a possible threat. Jackson Proskow has the details on how the country is responding.
TORONTO – Police have named the two victims who were killed in the Sydney café siege as lawyer Katrina Dawson, 38, and Tori Johnson, 34, who managed the Lindt Chocolat Café.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I must inform members of the New South Wales Bar Association that Katrina Dawson, of 8 Selborne Chambers, passed away in the early hours of this morning. Katrina, together with two other members of the NSW Bar, were held as hostages during the incident at the Lindt Café in Phillip Street, Sydney, yesterday,” the statement read.
Jane Needham, President of the NSW Bar Association, also added in the statement that counselling is available for affected colleagues.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Dawson had three children under the age of 10, two girls and a boy. The youngest, a girl, is four years old.
Johnson was an employee at the café where he has worked since 2012 and had previously worked in other cafés in Sydney and in the U.S., according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
According to his LinkedIn profile Johnson moved back to Australia in 2004 after three years of working overseas. He had studied hospitality management at Washington State University in 2002 and 2003, and held a diploma in hotel management.
Johnson’s parents released a statement to Channel 9’s Ben Fordham on Tuesday.
“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 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.”
The couple also said “We feel heartfelt sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson.”
Lindt CEO Ernst Tanner released a statement earlier Monday 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 deadly siege in Sydney began when an Iranian-born gunman burst into the small café in the early hours of Monday morning in the heart of Sydney’s business district taking 17 people hostage. It ended 16 hours later when police stormed in Tuesday after hearing gunfire.
The gunman, identified as 50-year-old Man Haron Monis, was killed and four others were injured. Two pregnant women were hospitalized as a precaution.
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