Inquest: Sydney siege hostage killed by police bullet ricochet

One of the  Sydney siege hostages was killed by the ricochet of at least one police bullet, an inquest into the deaths was told on Thursday.

The victim, Katrina Dawson, 38, was hit by six fragments of a police bullet, or bullets - with one striking a major blood vessel.

Mr Jeremy Gormly, counsel assisting the New South Wales state coroner, said: "She lost consciousness quickly and died shortly afterwards".

Police had stormed the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in central Sydney in the early hours of Dec 16, ending a 17-hour siege by Man Haron Monis, 50.

The gunman had shot cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34.

Other victim was executed with shot at back of head

 Gormly said a police marksman had witnessed Johnson's execution - he was ordered to kneel and then shot without warning at close range in the back of the head.

He also added that Monis (who fired 22 rounds from a sawn-off pump action shotgun) was killed instantly by several police bullets and bullet fragments to the head and body.

Australian flags fly at half mast on Sydney Harbour bridge following the fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district on Dec 16, 2014. Photo: AFP


Apart from the inquest, a goverment inquiry is also being conducted into how Monis was able to access a gun and why he was granted bail while facing charges as an accessory to his ex-wife's murder.

He was also facing more than 40 sexual assault charges.

He was also found guilty in 2012 of sending threatening letters to the families of eight Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan as a protest against Australia's involvement there.

'I have a bomb'

The inquiry also found that Monis ordered and consumed a piece of chocolate cake and tea after entering the cafe early on Dec 15.

About 30 minutes later, he asked to move tables and to speak to manager Johnson, who then asked an employee to lock the doors.

Once that was done, Monis stood up, putting on a vest and bandana and told staff:

"This is an attack. I have a bomb".

Source: Reuters


Related reports: 

Cafe manager, lawyer were the two hostages killed in Sydney Siege

Sydney Siege hostage, 83, recounts escape: 'I've never felt such relief'