Sydney Cafe Victim: Mom of 3

'Best and brightest' barrister Katrina Dawson mourned
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2014 9:36 PM CST
Updated Dec 16, 2014 12:15 AM CST
Manager, Mom of 3 Killed in Sydney Cafe Siege
Armed tactical response officers stand ready to enter the Lindt cafe last night.   (AP Photo/Glenn Nicholls)

A makeshift memorial has been set up in central Sydney and flags across New South Wales will be flown at half-mast today to honor two hostages killed in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe. One victim has been identified as Katrina Dawson, a highly respected barrister and the mother of three children under 10, the Age reports. The president of the NSW Bar Association describes the 38-year-old as "one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends." A Channel Seven news presenter broke down on air when she realized that she knew Dawson, whose sister is a lawyer for the channel.

The other hostage killed has been identified as 34-year-old Tori Johnson, the cafe's manager. He had run the cafe for two years. "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," his parents said in a statement. Police haven't confirmed reports that both hostages died trying to help others, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. According to some reports, Johnson was killed as he tried to wrestle the weapon away from gunman Man Haron Monis, and Dawson died trying to protect a pregnant friend, who was one of four people hospitalized after security forces stormed the cafe. (More Australia stories.)

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