Police Bullet Hit Sydney Hostage

Bullet ricocheted, hit Katrina Dawson during cops' shootout with gunman
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2015 12:40 PM CST
Two candle tributes with photos of siege victims Tori Johnson, left, and Katrina Dawson are seen at a temporary memorial close to the Lindt cafe in the central business district of Sydney, Australia.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

(Newser) – Australian cops who stormed the Sydney chocolate shop where a gunman took 18 people hostage may have accidentally killed one of the captives in the melee, the Sydney Morning Herald says. Police investigators say that forensics show 38-year-old Katrina Dawson was struck by fragments from a police bullet, which ricocheted off an object and struck her in the heart and shoulder, the Daily Telegraph reports; pieces of concrete and tile also reportedly hit her after bullets pummeled the floors and walls. Dawson's cause of death hasn't been confirmed pending the end of the criminal investigation, and a police spokeswoman says the force won't have any comment until that happens.

Australian PM Tony Abbott would like to present posthumous awards for bravery to Dawson and Tori Johnson, the cafe manager who was reportedly shot in the back of the head after five hostages escaped, the Telegraph notes. In the meantime, the Katrina Dawson Foundation has been set up "to preserve and honour the memory of Katrina Dawson and all she achieved" by advocating for women's education, the Herald notes. (A touching memorial was set up in Sydney for Dawson, a successful attorney and mom of three.)

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