I would like to propose a Retail Balls Award not just to the two lives lost, Tori Johnson, and Katrina Dawson, but to the staff, customers involved, but also the police and and even Lindt itself. Overnight, Australia has changed, thanks to a madman and his twisted views, and sadly lives lost and many others changed forever. The madman was a time bomb walking, and Australia had to take the price.
I totally agree. Tori gave his life to save his customers and workers. His heoric actions will always be remembered. We salute his action at RHU with a Retail Balls Award. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone in Australia affected by this tragedy.
From Mail Online:
These are the faces of the innocent victims forced to endure some 16 hours of hell as they were held hostage in Sydney's terrorist siege.
Tori Johnson, the manager of the Lindt cafe in Martin Place, and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson were the two hostages killed during the bloody climax.
Mr Johnson, 34, was shot dead after he tried to wrestle the gun from Islamic extremist Man Haron Monis inside the cafe just after 2am on Tuesday.
Ms Dawson, a 38-year-old whose children are all under 10, died in hospital. She was a barrister at Eight Selborne Chambers in Sydney's Phillip Street, opposite the site of the siege.
Ms Dawson, who leaves behind her husband Paul and their children, Chloe, Sasha and Olive, was having a coffee with a pregnant colleague when the siege unfolded. Her children were unaware she was involved until Tuesday morning, the Australian reports.
One of the pregnant women in the cafe at the time, Julie Taylor, was also a colleague of Ms Dawson and had to be treated in hospital following the ordeal.
Lawyer Stefan Balafoutis was one of the first three men to escape the cafe about 3.45pm. He works in the 10th Floor Selborne/Wentworth Chambers, which is directly above Lindt.
Dressed in a bright blue blazer, 83-year-old John O’Brian, was the first out of the cafe when he escaped with Mr Balafoutis.
Marcia Mikhail, 42, was among those hostages forced to record a chilling video message listing the hostage-taker's demands. She was carried out of the cafe by two emergency services workers with blood running down her leg and is still recovering in hospital.
Harriett Denny, a fellow employee, ran from the cafe with five other hostages shortly before police issued their gunfire assault. The 30-year-old's father who lives in Queensland was forced to watch the horrific incident unfold on TV.
Viswakanth Ankireddy, a software engineer at tech giant Infosys, was working for Westpac in Martin Place when he was caught up in the siege. His Westpac colleague, Puspendu Ghosh, also escaped the siege unharmed.
Jarrod Hoffman, 19, and Fiona Ma were also among the hostages, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Selina Win Pe escaped unharmed after she was also forced to relay demands via a recorded message that were subsequently posted online during the siege.
Joel Herat, who lists his workplace as ‘Lindt & Sprüngli’ on Facebook, was another of the hostages to upload a haunting hostage clip on his YouTube account.
Within half an hour, the video was taken down by YouTube and the account was deactivated.
Paolo Vassallo, who was among the first hostages to escape on Monday afternoon, is a married father of three. After escaping, Vassallo was taken to hospital due to a pre-existing medical condition. He was later reunited with his family, reports ABC.
Ken and Rosemary, the parents of Mr Johnson, who was shot inside the cafe he had run for two years, released a statement 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.
'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 also expressed their sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson who also died.
The siege ended after less than two minutes of gunfire at 2.15am today. Mr Johnson and Ms Dawson died from their injuries, while several others were wounded:
- Five hostages were injured in the shootout which left the gunman dead
- Three women suffered gunshot wounds - a 75-year-old who was hit in the shoulder, a 52-year-old in the foot and a 43-year-old in the leg
- A police officer was injured by gunshot pellets to his face. He has now been released from hospital
- Two pregnant women, aged 35 and 30, are both in stable conditions after undergoing health assessment
As Australia mourned the dead, thousands of people gathered at Martin Place to lay flowers, some in floods of tears. Among those paying tribute were Tony Abbott, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, Premier Mike Baird and the Governor General Peter Cosgrove.
Speaking earlier today, the prime minister said it was tragic people going about their everyday business could get caught up in such a horrific incident.
'Our hearts go out to all of those caught up in this appalling incident and their loved ones. On behalf of all Australians, I extend my sympathy to the families of the two hostages who died over night,' Mr Abbott said.
The 50-year-old gunman is believed to have fired the first shots, which sparked teams of heavily armed police to swoop on the cafe.
More details of the final terrifying moments of the siege have since emerged as tributes flow in for those who were involved.
A shrine for the hostage victims has grown rapidly since a single bunch of flowers was laid at dawn on Tuesday.
Dignitaries, workers from nearby offices and tourists have been seen paying their respects with some standing in solemn silence and others sobbing uncontrollably.
The law firm Ms Dawson worked for, which was located next door to Lindt, told Daily Mail Australia they were 'devastated by the loss of our beloved floor member'.
It said the 38-year-old was a rising star at 8 Selborne Chambers.
'Katrina was on her way to becoming one of the leading barristers at the bar. She was also a dear friend to all of us and will be deeply missed,' a statement read.
'Our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. We also send our condolences to everyone affected by this tragic event.
'We thank all those who have sent messages of support.'
Kate Golder, 37, broke down in tears as she paid tribute to the hostages.
'It's the randomness of it, it could have been any of the cafes that I frequent in the city, it could have been any of us,' she said.
'I said to my husband it could have been me - I feel so sorry for the victims and their families. Martin Place is such a lovely place to be but that peace has been shattered.'
Ms Golder works in the finance industry and her office is just 100 metres from the cafe.
'When i I walk through Martin Place now it will always feel different for me,' she said.
'Sydneysiders, like most Australians, we are pretty relaxed but it feels like something has changed overnight.'
Terri Lucia, who also works nearby, sobbed uncontrollably as she placed flowers at the makeshift shrine.
'Im really very shocked. As soon as I found out what happened to those poor people I had to come down just so they know that we care. It's just awful - I'm still in shock,' the 52-year-old said.
'It has changed forever, it's such a beautiful place.I used to come here and have lunch but it just doesn't feel like it today.'
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