Café manager shot dead in Sydney siege hailed as hero

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The parents of the 34-year-old Lindt café manager who was taken hostage and killed during the 16-hour siege in Sydney have paid tribute to their son.

Tori Johnson, who was working at the café in Martin Place on Monday when self-described radical cleric Man Haron Monis stormed the building with a gun, has been hailed a hero after details emerged of how he tried to overpower the gunman to protect his staff and customers.

Barrister Katrina Dawson was the other hostage who died.

Mr Johnson’s parents released a statement via journalist Ben Fordham, saying: “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.

“We feel heartfelt sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson.

“We’d like to thank not only our friends and loved ones for their support, but the people of Sydney; Australia and those around the world for reaching out with their thoughts and prayers.

“Our deepest gratitude to the NSW police, armed forces and paramedics for their tireless efforts.

“We ask that the media respects our privacy in this difficult time.

“Let us all pray for peace on earth.”

Mr Johnson was in a long-term relationship with his partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn, who it’s understood is being comforted with the deceased’s family at the couple’s home in Redfern.

He was the son of acclaimed Australian artist Ken Johnson and his former wife Rowena.

Mr Johnson had worked at the Lindt cafe since October 2012, and, before that, had worked at a host of restaurants in Sydney and the US.