How the 2 Sydney Siege Victims Died

One by the gunman's hand, one by police bullet fragments
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2015 8:43 AM CST
How the 2 Sydney Siege Victims Died
Two candle tributes with photos of siege victims Tori Johnson left, and Katrina Dawson are seen at a temporary memorial site close to the Lindt cafe in the central business district of Sydney.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Gunman Man Haron Monis killed one of the two Sydney siege victims execution-style; the other was the victim of ricocheting bullets fired by police who stormed the cafe after witnessing Tori Johnson's murder. The details came at the opening day of the inquest into last month's siege at the Lindt cafe, reports Australia's ABC News. Monis reportedly forced Johnson to kneel, and "after a short lapse of time Mr Monis simply shot him without further notice or warning in the back of the head," per a lawyer assisting the coroner. A police marksman witnessed the shot, which Jeremy Gormly says likely killed Johnson instantly, and "called it in. That resulted in an immediate order to force entry of the cafe."

Katrina Dawson was killed as police moved in, by fragments from a police bullet or bullets that ricocheted off of other surfaces. The New York Times reports that one of the six fragments pierced a major blood vessel; the 38-year-old lost consciousness soon after, per Gormly. Though Monis fired off three shots as police moved in, none struck a person. At least 13 bullets or bullet fragments hit Monis. Though the forensics of Dawson's death had been aired, the Times notes this is the first official statement on whose bullets killed the victims. ABC News reports that there has been some public criticism about the rifle (M4A1 carbine) used by police, with a former member of the country's military counter-terrorism unit describing the heavy bullets as overly likely to ricochet. (More Sydney stories.)

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