News
Megan Aney
Monday, December 15, 2014 - 10:23

Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson Praised as Heros

Victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson
IMAGE | TWITTER

The siege in Martin Place has tragically came to a head with 3 people dead, including the gunman. The scene unfolded just after 2am when 7 hostages ran from the Lindt Cafe.

SEE ALSO: SYDNEY SIEGE AS IT HAPPENED IN PHOTOS

The woman has been identified as mother of two Katrina Dawson and the man has been confirmed as 34 year old Lindt manager Tori Johnson. The cafe manager was wrestling the gun from hostage-taker when he was killed. He is being praised as a hero. Ms Dawson was tragically killed trying to defend her pregnant friend, AAP reports.

IMAGE | SUPPLIED 

Dramatic scenes in Martin Place this morning after the 16 hour siege came to a head. Police were forced to make a move shortly after 2am after hostages were seen fleeing the Lindt cafe and gun fire was heard. Seconds later heavily armed police stormed the building opening fire.

The gunman at the centre of the siege was 50 year old sheikh Man Haron Monis. He was facing a raft of charges including helping kill his ex wife, 22 counts of sexual assault and 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault. He first came to the attention of the Courts for writing offensive letters to the families of seven Australian soldiers. He was out on bail. 

A man aged 34 and a woman, aged 28, were pronounced dead after being take to hospital, both were hostages. 

Two women have been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while a male police officer suffered a non-life threatening wound to his face from gunshot pellets and was taken to hospital. 

Another woman has been taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to her shoulder. 

Police Storm the Building

Gunshots fired

SEE ALSO: AUSTRALIANS UNITE THROUGH #ILLRIDEWITHYOU

What we know so far 16 December 2014

* 3 people dead, including the gunman

* The two hostages dead include a man aged 34 and a woman aged 28. 

* 5 people are believed to be injured.........three of those seriously.

* The injured have been taken to St Vincents Hospital and RPA

* The gunman is known to be 50 year old self-styled sheikh Man Monis.

* It is believed the bomb disposal robot was ALSO on site scanning the cafe as a precaution. 

* No official reports yet on injuries or casualties.

* While reports are yet to be confirmed by NSW Police, Nine News is reporting that gunman Man Haron Moris has died in the Sydney Siege

* A flurry of people were seen rushing from the building. Numbers of injuries and casualties is unconfirmed reports ABC News

* Police stormed the cafe following a series of loud explosions or gunshots and flashes of lights.

* Heavily armed police have stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place. There have been reports of gunfire with many hostages seen escaping. More details to come.

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Events from 15 December 2014

Five people have now escaped including three staff members from the Sydney CBD café where a masked gunman has held approximately 15 people for more than seven hours. The harrowing moments the customers and Lindt staff escaped.

VIDEOS | VINE

SEE ALSO:  SYDNEY CBD AS THE SIEGE UNFOLDS

Here is what we know so far

* Heavily armed police have stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place. There have been reports of gunfire with many hostages seen escaping. More details to come.

* NSW Premier Mike Baird has advised an exclusion zone will remain in place tomorrow in Martin Place and anyone who works in that area is encouraged to work from home.

* NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione -"I understand no-one has been injured. And we are grateful"

* NSW Premier Mike Baird begins press conference with "I have complete confidence in the NSW police who have been handling the situation at Martin Place w the professionalism we expect of them"

* At 8:15pm NSW Premier Mike Baird will be joining NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione to provide an update on the situation at Martin Place

* From inside the Martin Place newsroom - we can see food is being delivered to the hostages. Staff bringing it out from kitchen at back reports Chris Reason on Twitter

* NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has addressed the public saying "It is really important to remember this is ongoing, we still have people that are held, we still have a person we are dealing with."

* There is speculation about what the POI might want but we have to deal with him on the level of police negotiation.

* There are reports police have discovered the identity of the lone gunman.

* Five hostages have now escaped including three Lindt cafe staff. They are now in talks with police and one person is being treated in hospital. It is unknown whether it is emotional or physical treatment.

Police, state emergency services and welfare organisations are preparing for a long night ahead The Australian reports.

* Up to a dozen hostages are being held inside the Lindt Chocolate cafe in Sydney's Martin Place. There have been claims that there could be up to 50 people held hostage - this is being checked.

* Two men were seen entering the cafe at 9:44 am - one was reportedly seen removing a large gun from a bag.

* Hostages have been seen with their hands pressed against the windows of the cafe, in some photos with a black flag with Arabic writing pressed up against one of its windows.

* The area surrounding the Lindt Chocolate Cafe has been cleared and the central business district is in lockdown.

* The area around the cafe has been cordoned off to about 150m with specialist police operations poised outside the shop.

* Police have closed off Martin Place between Macquarie and Elizabeth Streets with Martin Place train station shut down.

* Spokesman for deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says the airspace over Sydney's CBD had not been shut down, as earlier reported.

Sydney CBD evacuated

IMAGE | AAP

SEE ALSO: THE LATEST SYDNEY CBD TRAFFIC UPDATES

If you have any information you are urged to call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400. 

As of 3:42pm AEST - Three of the hostages have been released or escaped out the front door and the fire escape of the Lindt cafe. They are all now with police. 

As of 3:31pm AEST - The Grand Mufti of Australia has condemned the siege saying such actions are "denounced" by Islam.

"The Grand Mufti and the Australian National Imams Council condemn this criminal act unequivocally and reiterate that such actions are denounced in part and in whole in Islam.

"His Eminence the Grand Mufti, the Australian National Imams Council and the Muslim community express their full support and solidarity with their victims and their families and aspire to a peaceful resolve to this calamity." 

As of 1:00pm AEST - Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said at the press conference in Canberra that the “motivation of the perpetrator” is unknown but for Sydney to remain calm. "I would urge all Australians to go about their business as usual but to report any suspicious activity. Our thoughts and prayers must above all go out to the individuals that are caught up in this."

As of 12:16pm AEST - Tony Abbott will hold a press conference at 12:30pm AEST.

As of 11:47am AEST - Daily Telegraph reporter Yoni Bashan tweeted that Ray Hadley reported that the POI has told negotiators he has 'devices all over the city.

As of 11:37am AEST - PM Tony Abbott has released the following statement

tony abbott statement about lindt cafe incident

IMAGE |  PM OFFICE 

As of 11:32am AEST - Riot police are beginning to surround Lindt Café in Martin Place. 

As of 11:25am AEST - The Opera House has now also been evacuated with reports a suspicious package has been found in the vicinity.

As of 11:15am AEST -  There are reports it's from a group called SHAHADA.

As of 10:50am AEST - Reports that trains around the area have been stopped and roads are blocked. Police urge all public to stay away. 

As of 10:40am AEST - There is  a black and white flag being held up in a window. It is believed to be the Black Standard.

As of 10:23am AEST - A masked gunman is holding up several people hostage at a cafe in Martin Place in Sydney

Nova 96.9's breakfast newsreader is down at the scene, listen to the cross live on air.

Vision from The Morning Show shows hostages with their hands up at all the windows in the popular Lindt Chocolate Cafe.

Trains around the area have been stopped and roads are blocked. Train passengers have been ordered off trains and back onto the streets in Kings Cross.

Hostages are shown to be holding up a flag which is believed to be 'The Black Standard' or 'The Black Banner' used by Muslim extremists. Parading the flag in public became an offence in the UK in August this year and it is also banned in Holland and Germany. 

lindt cafe cbd

IMAGE | THE MORNING SHOW TWITTER

The Channel 7 studios which are directly across the road from the Lindt Cafe have partly evacuated. 

Police officers have surrounded Martin Place. 

The channel 7 offices in Martin Place have now been evacuated, watch the last footage before the show left the building. 

LIVE COVERAGE FROM CHANNEL 7 NEWS HERE.

 

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