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Sydney Hostage Standoff

Hero’ Manager and Lawyer Mother of Three Both Killed in Sydney Siege

The shop manager, who was hailed as a hero, and a mother of three children respected as one of the "best and brightest" barristers in New South Wales were identified as the two innocent people who died in the hostage-taking at a chocolate cafe in Sydney.

The Most Rev. Anthony Fisher, the Catholic archbishop of Sydney, mourned the deaths of Tori Johnson, 34, and Katrina Dawson, 38, at a memorial service Tuesday afternoon at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. They were killed along with Man Haron Monis, the gunman who took over the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney's central business district Monday.

Other hostages have said Johnson grabbed Monis' gun, which triggered a shot and led to the police raid that ended the siege about 2:20 a.m. Tuesday. Fisher told the estimated 2,000 in attendance that Johnson was a hero, saying that while his act ended in his own death, it led to "freedom for most of the hostages."

Fisher also cited reports that Dawson was shielding a pregnant friend when she was killed. "These heroes were willing to lay down their lives so others might live," he said, "imitating the sacrifice of Christ, who said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for another."

Jane Needham, president of the New South Wales Bar Association, confirmed the death of Dawson, whom she called in a statement "one of our best and brightest barristers." In Australia, a barrister is a senior lawyer who appears as an advocate in the courts, as opposed to a solicitor, who is a lawyer who works with clients investigating cases and preparing court papers.

Needham said Dawson "will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar."

"She was a devoted mother of three children, and a valued member of her floor and of our bar community," Needham said.

Lindt & Sprüngli AG, the Swiss confectionary company that runs the cafe, confirmed the death of Johnson, a two-year employee whom it called "a great ambassador for our company and the store that he managed, which he cared about passionately."

Lindt Australia Chief Executive Steve Loane called Johnson a "perfectionist" and "a really important part of our management team in Australia."

"His loss is absolutely tragic," Loane said.

Image: Sydney siege victim
A family handout image obtained on Dec. 16, of 38-year-old Katrina Dawson. Dawson was one of two hostages killed in a dramatic 16-hour siege at the Lindt cafe in Sydney, Australia. EPA

Emma Ong of NBC News contributed to this report.

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