• Victim ID'd in Sydney siege studied at WSU


    SYDNEY - One of the victims in the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia was a former student at Washington State University in Pullman.

    Police identified the victims as Sydney lawyer Katrina Dawson, 38, a mother of three and the other victim was the manager of the cafe, 34-year-old Tori Johnson.

    In Johnson’s LinkedIn profile, it said that he studied and received a Bachelor’s of Arts in hospitality business management at WSU from the College of Business and Economics in 2002 to 2003.

    "He was a very selfless manager,” Tony Manno, a former boss of Johnson’s, told ABC News in Australia. "Everyone is deeply saddened and sending their best to the family at the moment.”

    Johnson's family sent out a statement that reads, in part:

    "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."

    On Monday morning, a gunman burst into the Lindt Chocolat Cafe and took 17 people hostage. It ended 16 hours later in a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the gunman dead.

    The gunman was identified as 50-year-old Man Haron Monis, who once was prosecuted for sending offensive letters to families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan.

    New South Wales state police Commissioner Andrew Scipione wouldn't say whether the two hostages who were killed were caught in crossfire or shot by their captor.

    Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said three women were treated in the hospital for gunshot wounds and were in stable condition. A police officer was treated for shotgun pellet wounds and discharged, she said.

    Burn said another two women were treated for "health and welfare purposes." Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that those women were pregnant.

    WSU released a statement Tuesday:

    "Our deepest condolences to the family of a fallen Cougar alumnus, Tori Johnson. Tori was the manager of the Lindt Chocolate Café in Sydney, Australia, and was killed Monday, Dec. 15, during a hostage siege at the café . Tori, 34, studied abroad in the WSU/ Cèsar Ritz Colleges Switzerland degree program and earned a BA in hotel and restaurant administration in 2003, graduating magna cum laude. Tori was a successful business manager with a bright future in the hospitality sector and a source of pride for WSU. Please join us in remembering and honoring Tori as the holidays approach."

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