Tori Johnson's partner on the man he loved for 14 years.

Thomas Zinn, Tori Johnson’s partner with Lisa Wilkinson.




It is the flowers that he thinks would have overwhelmed Tori.

“Tori loves flowers and this is probably the most beautiful thing he would ever have seen.”

For the partner of Tori Johnson, Thomas Zinn, the floral tribute in Martin Place, which is slowly helping Sydney piece together a shattered city is beautiful.

“It is amazing he has been able to make our city smell like flowers, there is no more beautiful thing he could have imagined.”

In an emotional interview with TODAY’s Lisa Wilkinson Thomas Zinn, Tori’s partner of 14-years has spoken just days after the tragic death of the man he spent 14 years with, and hoped to marry.

He described his life partner as “a humble and very generous person” to whom family was everything.

The words from the partner of Tori Johnson are heartbreaking to hear.

“He made it very clear that family was the most important thing in our lives and that we have to cherish that and spend enough time with our families.

“That was an absolute priority.”


Tori Johnson was one of 17 people taken hostage by self-proclaimed ‘sheik’ Man Haron Monis in Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday, and one of two hostages to die.


An initial post-mortem has shown that he was shot at close range just before 2am on Tuesday morning.

The grief etched on the face of his partner is difficult to absorb.

Their 14-year partnership of love, respect and joy destroyed by events many of us are still struggling to make sense of.


Thomas Zinn told Lisa Wilkinson that while he has not had contact with the family of Katrina Dawson, who also lost her life during the siege he thinks of them constantly.

“Katrina’s family is as affected as us we have not have contact directly but we wish them all the best.“

He thanked the emergency services and paramedics who came the aid of the hostages on Monday night. Saying ”  We can not undo the events of December 16, but it has made our diverse community even stronger and more unified.”

In  a heartfelt statement he said “This tragedy will remain with us forever it has galvanized our city, our county and makes us even more proud of Tori and Katrina and proud of all Australians.”




Two days ago the family of Tori Johnson released this statement

“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.”


His father, artist Ken Johnson walked through the Martin Place memorial early yesterday evening side by side with Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Christian religious leaders.


He told Fairfax Media that his son’s his love is immense but his bravery is immeasurate.”


He said that he wanted to show the world there can be peace. He spent more than an hour with the leaders – Rabbis Levi Wolff and Zalmen Kastel, Hindu priest Pandit Ramachandra, Reverend Bill Crews and Sheikh Wesam Charkawi.

“I want to show solidarity. I want to demonstrate that there can be peace in the world. My son has paved the way for that and I want to make sure I continue it.” He said

As the families of all the hostages grieve, still stunned by Monday’s events they can draw comfort by the fact that the world grieves with them.

It is shown in the incredible field of flowers. It is shown in the thousands and thousands of people who have come to Martin Place to stand silent, shed a tear and pause to reflect on the 17 hours, which changed Australia.

Ken Johnson said that Tori would have been amazed.

“He wouldn’t want all this. He is a simple boy who just liked going to work and going home like everyone else.”

The funeral for Tori Johnson will be held on Tuesday. One week after this humble and generous man lost his life.