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Sydney siege: Sea of flowers laid as city honours 'hero' hostages

By PA Reporter

The two hostages killed in the Sydney cafe siege have been remembered as heroes by friends, family and strangers.

The dramatic 16-hour stand-off at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe, in Martin Place in the heart of the city's financial and legal district, came to a bloody end in the early hours of yesterday morning.

It is believed police stormed the building after 50-year-old "lone gunman" and self-styled Muslim cleric Man Horan Monis fired shots.

Three people including Monis were killed, and five of the hostages were rushed to hospital.

A 75-year-old woman who was shot in the shoulder and a 52-year-old woman who was shot in the foot remain in a stable condition.

Also in a stable condition in hospital is a 43-year-old woman who was shot in the leg.

Police are offering psychological support to all 15 of the surviving hostages, while Sydneysiders have placed masses of bouquets and handwritten tributes at the scene of the carnage.

The cafe's manager, Tori Johnson, and Katrina Dawson, a barrister who worked nearby, were pronounced dead in hospital.

Mr Johnson's parents, Ken and Rosemary, released a statement saying: "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.

Mr Johnson (34) had been at the company for two years, Lindt Australia chief executive Steve Loane said.

Mr Loane said: "By nature he was a perfectionist and he had a genuine passion for the hospitality industry and people. He was a really important part of our management team in Australia and his loss is absolutely tragic."

It was reported that Mr Johnson was killed trying to wrestle a gun from Monis after spotting the hostage-taker doze off.

Ms Dawson, described as a rising legal star, was reportedly killed trying to protect a pregnant friend from her chambers, Julie Taylor.

Background

Iranian-born Man Horan Monis (50) took employees and customers hostage at a Lindt chocolate cafe at Martin Place, Sydney. The event lasted 16 hours before police tactical officers stormed the cafe. Monis and two hostages were killed. Several others, including a policeman, were injured.

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