Sydney siege hostage Katrina Dawson shot at least seven times, inquest told

Hostage Katrina Dawson sustained at least seven gunshot wounds when police stormed Sydney’s Lindt cafe.

The inquest into the siege has heard details of the injuries sustained by Dawson, including that a total of 55 grains of bullet fragment were removed from her body.

The barrister was fatally wounded as the standoff came to an end when police stormed the building at 2.13am on 16 December 2014 after gunman Man Haron Monis killed cafe manager Tori Johnson.

Dawson was struck in the right shoulder, right upper back, left shoulder, left upper back and neck area, upper back and neck area, and twice in the right side of the neck.

Some of the wounds contained copper fragments, confirming they were fired by Tactical Operations Unit officers’ weapons as the ammunition used by Monis did not contain copper.

Michael O’Connell SC, counsel assisting Dawson’s family, on Monday suggested to a ballistic expert called to give evidence at the inquest that she may have been in pain as she was struck by fragments.

The first two TOU members to enter the cafe – identified only as “Officer A” and “Officer B” – fired 22 rounds at the hostage-taker.

Monis was killed after he was struck by four intact rounds.

Dawson was found still alive, lying face down under tables and chairs in a corner of the cafe but died later.

The inquest also heard that Officer B was wounded by fragments from police bullets, possibly from his own weapon.

The fragments of bullets removed from Officer B’s cheek and thigh came from police rounds, which most likely struck a glass panel at the entrance to the cafe and bounced back. It is unclear whether they were from rounds fired from his weapon or his colleague.

Ballistics expert Lucas van der Walt told the inquest he believed that when the front counter glass was struck twice by police bullets, some fragments bounced back and injured officer B.

Van der Walt ruled out the possibility that police were hit by fragments from rounds fired by Monis.

The inquest continues.


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