Sydney victim hailed a hero for shielding pregnant friend from gunfire

A female barrister who died in the Sydney siege has been hailed a hero amid reports she was killed shielding her pregnant friend from gunfire. Katrina Dawson died along with cafe manager Tori Johnson, who was praised for trying to grab the gun off hostage-taker Man Haron Monis at the end of the 16-hour siege. Tributes were paid to the victims at a memorial service, as questions were raised over why the self-styled sheikh had been granted bail after a string of alleged sex attacks and involvement in a murder. As Sydney struggled to come to terms with the shock of the siege, a video also emerged showing some of the hostages inside the cafe, filmed by their captor.

They were just going to work like everyone else, just going to get a cup of coffee. That could have been absolutely anyone.

Angelica Haifa, who laid flowers at the site

In the video, uploaded by the gunman, three hostages are pictured describing demands made by the gunman - including that he be brought an Islamic State flag. Television news footage also emerged of the moment when a TV reporter broke down in tears live on air as she read out the name of Ms Dawson - realising that she knew her. Huge piles of flowers were laid outside the Lindt café in Sydney’s financial district, as more details about the victims and the gunman began to emerge. As well as Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson, three female hostages were also shot in the attack and are being treated in hospital. They are in a stable condition.

There’s a lot of sadness, and a bit of a dull energy around today. There’s been a lot of coming together of religions, and working towards the greater goal of being one in the situation.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher