Investigators have released more information about the two deaths in December's Sydney siege following an inquest led by a coroner in New South Wales, Australia. According to government officials, 38-year-old Katrina Dawson was killed by fragments from police bullets, which allegedly ricocheted off a wall and fatally struck her. Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old manager of the Lindt Cafe where the attack occurred, was allegedly killed by the gunman.
The Guardian reports that gunman Man Haron Monis entered the popular cafe and chocolate shop in downtown Sydney at 8:33 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 15. He ate chocolate and drank a cup of tea before asking to speak with Johnson and locking the doors of the cafe. Monis was reportedly hiding a sawed-off pump-action shotgun, and claimed that he was taking the customers and employees in the cafe hostage in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. However, Australian officials say he had no previous contact with ISIS before entering the cafe that day.
Around 2:30 a.m., almost 20 hours after the hostage crisis began, Monis allegedly made Johnson kneel on the ground. He then shot Johnson in the back of his head, fatally wounding him. Reuters reports that Johnson's death was witnessed by a police sniper.
Dawson, a barrister and mother of three, was wounded shortly after, when police raided the cafe following Johnson's execution.
Jeremy Gormly, the counsel assisting the inquest, said Dawson was hit by six fragments of police bullets. At least one of the fragments struck a major blood vessel, according to News.com.au.
Gormly told reporters on Wednesday that investigation into Monis' possible terrorist connections continue. "Security issues concerning Mr. Monis will be examined in some detail," Gormly said.
Monis, who was a self-proclaimed sheik, was reportedly killed by police bullets. An Iranian-born Australian citizen, Monis was out on bail when he took over the Lindt Cafe and declared his allegiance to ISIS. Australian authorities are now looking into how Monis was let out on bail after being charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal. Monis and Pal were married in 2005 and had two children together.
According to NBC News, Pal was found dead in April 2013, having been stabbed and set on fire. Monis' then-girlfriend, Amirah Droudis, was charged with the murder, while Monis was arrested and charged as an accessory to the murder in November 2013.
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