By: Lucy Marks.
Dramatic footage from the Sydney siege has been played at an inquest, showing Man Haron Monis firing at six escaping hostages, as well as the final moments of the standoff when police stormed the Lindt Cafe.
Monis took 17 hostages at the cafe about 9:45am on December 15, 2014, with the siege coming to a bloody end after a 16-hour standoff.
Counsel assisting the coroner Sophie Callan told the inquest that shortly after 2:00am Fiona Ma escaped and Monis fired a shot into the kitchen.
Monis then ordered cafe manager Tori Johnson to put his hands behind his head and kneel, and is heard telling everyone they will be OK.
Moments later the gunman shot Mr Johnson in the back of the head.
Monis then said: “Don’t move, everything will be fine.”
At this point, a sniper made the call “hostage down” and Tactical Operations Unit (TOU) officers entered the building, used distraction devices, then officers fired a number of shots at Monis.
Ms Callan told the inquest: “It is apparent that the TOU officers that entered the cafe that night believed there was likely to be an explosive device inside.”
Distraction devices described as ‘flash bangs’ were thrown into the cafe’s main doors to distract and disorientate Monis.
The inquest heard Monis discharged two rounds towards the officers, which were found to have hit high above the main doors.
Ms Callan said the two officers who fired their guns, known as officer A and B, shot 17 rounds and five rounds respectively.
“I anticipate officers A and B will [tell the inquest] that because Monis was shooting at them, their intention, in terms of the number of bullets they fired, was to continue shooting until such time as they believed he no longer posed a threat,” she said.
Monis sustained multiple gunshot wounds all over his body and was killed.
Monis was trying to shoot hostages, not warn them
At about 2:03am Monis fired a shot as a group of hostages fled from the cafe led by Jarrod Morton-Hoffman.
Ms Callan told the court it was believed Monis was trying to shoot at the escaping hostages, and was not firing a warning shot as previously thought.
“That assessment was made without the benefit of evidence which has since been gathered, and analysis of video footage,” she said.
“It now appears that although his shot missed, the very strong inference is that Monis was shooting at the hostages.”
Ms Callan said it was not known why Mr Johnson and Katrina Dawson, who were both killed in the siege, did not join the escape at that time.
“It may have been either by decision, or because their positions … did not allow them to leave in time,” she said.
Monis did not know two hostages had earlier escaped
Earlier today, the inquest heard Monis did not realise two hostages had unlocked a door at the cafe and escaped earlier in the evening, as it was played footage of the two survivors reaching police.
The inquest heard that at 4:57pm on the day of the siege, hostage Mr Morton-Hoffman noticed Jieun Bae (also known as April) and Elly Chen crawling from under a bench and attempting to unlock bolts on a cafe door.