The gunman, Man Haron Monis, was not dozing off, as previously thought.
The 21-year-old said the gunman was agitated and very awake at 2:00am. Mr Herat told his family he didn’t think they would survive until morning if they stayed inside the cafe.
Mr Herat’s father, Lawyer Bruce Herat, spoke to Fairfax Media about the details.
Joel Herat. Image via Facebook.
“From what Joel told me initially, towards 2am Monis started to bring groups of people together in close proximity from where they had been dispersed throughout [the cafe]”, he said.
“And at that point in time, Joel and five others came to the conclusion that they were not going to survive until the morning if they did not do something. So I think him and Jarrod [19-year-old Jarrod Hoffman] basically came to the conclusion that they would bust down the door. And I know that Joel made sure that Harriette [Denny] … got behind him and he said, ‘You’re coming with me’, and basically made sure that all that group were ready to go when Joel and Jarrod broke down the door, it was a group of six in total, I’m not sure who the others were.
“I haven’t ventured to go [deeply] into the detail of it simply because I just don’t want to visit that with Joel too early.
“I don’t know how they did it but they did kick down the [internal] door, which leads to the barristers’ chambers, and then the moment they busted that door down, Joel heard shots in his proximity. And he made sure that Harriette got out and Jarrod got out .. there were shots as they were fleeing.”