Sydney siege ends in tragedy

By Heeni Brown, Te Kāea
  • Australia

The 16-hour siege of a Sydney cafe that started yesterday has ended in the tragic loss of two innocent people, a mother of three and the owner of the cafe. The hostage-taker, Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, was also killed.

Hundreds of tributes continue to flow for the two hostages killed during the siege of a Lindt Chocolate cafe.

38-year-old barrister and mother of three Katrina Dawson and 34-year old Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson were killed along with hostage-taker Man Haron Monis.

Tony Abbott says, “Early this morning the Martin Place siege ended with the death of the lone gunman and tragically the loss of two hostages, innocent Australians in the horror of yesterday.”

New Zealand is also mourning the tragic loss.

This morning, gunfire signalled the end of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe siege.

Police say they had no choice but to enter the cafe after hearing gun shots fired from inside.

"They made the call because they believed at that time if they didn't enter there would've been many more lives lost.”

The siege began early yesterday and the gunman paraded his victims in front of the cafe windows forcing them to hold up a flag with Arabic writing. 

According to 3 News reporter, Tom McRae who is based in the Channel 7 offices directly across the road from the cafe, “There weren't too many eye witnesses that saw exactly how it unfolded but I was actually in the Channel 7 newsroom which looks directly across to the Lindt cafe and we saw a commotion and you could see the hostages pressed up against the windows.” 

He says there were no New Zealanders held hostage during the siege and police will attempt to interview the surviving hostages of this horrific tragedy.