Sydney siege hostage killed by police bullet ricochet

2015-01-29 07:35
A screen grab shows people holding up hands inside a cafe in Sydney. (Channel 7, AP)

A screen grab shows people holding up hands inside a cafe in Sydney. (Channel 7, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - One of the hostages held during a siege at an Australian cafe last month was killed by a ricochet of at least one police bullet that also injured three other hostages, an inquest into the deaths was told on Thursday.

Jeremy Gormly, counsel assisting the New South Wales state coroner, said lawyer Katrina Dawson, 38, was hit by six fragments of a police bullet, or bullets, with one striking a major blood vessel.

"She lost consciousness quickly and died shortly afterwards," Gormly said at the opening of the inquest.

17-hour siege

Police stormed the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in central Sydney in the early hours of 16 December, ending a 17-hour siege by Man Haron Monis after the gunman shot cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34.

Johnson's execution - he was ordered to kneel and then shot without warning at close range in the back of the head - was witnessed by a police marksman, Gormly said.

Monis, 50, who fired five rounds from a sawn-off pump action shotgun, was killed instantly by several police bullets and bullet fragments to the head and body, Gormly added.

The inquest is running alongside a government inquiry into how Monis was able to access a gun and why he was granted bail while facing charges as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. He was also facing more than 40 sexual assault charges.

The self-styled sheik harboured deep grievances against the Australian government and had found little kinship in the city's large Muslim community, where he was seen as deeply troubled.

He was found guilty in 2012 of sending threatening letters to the families of eight Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan as a protest against Australia's involvement there.

Psychiatric profile

Gormly said investigators had so far not established any contact between Monis and Islamic State before the siege. There was evidence that a psychiatric profile of Monis "will throw light" on his motivations, he said.

Monis ordered and consumed a piece of chocolate cafe and tea after entering the cafe early on 15 December, the inquest heard. Around half an hour later, he asked to move tables and to speak to manager Johnson, who then asked an employee to lock the doors. Once that was done, Monis stood up, putting on a vest and bandana, telling staff, according to one hostage account: "This is an attack. I have a bomb."

Coroner Michael Barnes said he would conduct the inquiry as quickly as possible, noting it raised "issues relevant to the actual security and the sense of security of the wider population".

Read more on:    australia  |  sydney siege

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.