By 3 News online staff
A timeline of the events of the 16-hour hostage crisis which unfolded inside the Lindt Chocolat Café in central Sydney's Martin Place. The siege ended early on Tuesday morning when armed police stormed the building. Three people were killed, including the hostage taker Man Haron Monis.
9:45am local time (11:45am NZ time): Police are called to Martin Place, central Sydney, after a woman reports seeing a man entering the Lindt café carrying a blue bag which appears to contain a gun.
- Footage captured by Channel 7, which is located directly across the road, shows distressed café staff and customers with their hands pressed against the windows, some holding up a black flag with Arabic writing on it which reads: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God."
10:30am: Police evacuate workers from surrounding buildings.
12pm: Channel 7 captures images of the gunman inside the café. He is wearing a black bandana with white writing on it and appears to be carrying a backpack.
12:50pm: Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks on national television, telling Australians the motivations for the attack are unclear and despite the disturbing situation, they should continue going about their day.
1.30pm: Radio station 2GB says it has received a call from a hostage.
- Host Ray Hadley, who spoke to the caller off-air, said the man sounded very distressed.
"[He] said, 'I'm a hostage and the man holding us hostage has instructed police to move out of the area immediately.
"He then said nervously, 'I have to go' and hung up."
3:35pm: Three hostages flee from the café's fire exit – one employee and two customers. It is not known whether they were freed or escaped.
5pm: Two terrified female employees escape from the same exit, hurrying towards police.
6:10pm: Mr Abbott makes another statement, saying it is "a very disturbing incident".
"It is profoundly shocking that innocent people should be held hostage by an armed person claiming political motivation.
"I have received messages of support from a number of international leaders and I thank them for their encouragement on this difficult day.
"Yes, it has been a difficult day. Yes, it is a day which has tested us, but, so far, like Australians in all sorts of situations, we have risen to the challenge."
6:30pm: Police confirm hostages have been in touch with media outlets to relay the demands of the hostage taker. However, they ask those demands not be made public because they may jeopardise the hostages' safety.
- Channel 7 reporter Chris Reason is allowed back into the Martin Pl newsroom across the road from the café.
From inside Martin Place newsroom we can see gunman is rotating hostages, forcing them to stand against windows, sometimes 2 hours at a time— Chris Reason (@ChrisReason7) December 15, 2014
From inside Martin Place we can see the faces of hostages - pained, strained, eyes red and raw. One young am with head in hands— Chris Reason (@ChrisReason7) December 15, 2014
8:30pm: The hashtag #illridewithyou begins trending on Twitter, with people volunteering to support Muslims who may feel threatened or frightened while riding public transport.
12am: Police name the gunman as 50-year-old Iranian refugee and recidivist offender Man Haron Monis.
2:20am: Several more hostages run from the café. Immediately afterwards, loud noises are heard from inside the café. Armed police move in and shots are fired. Injured hostages are carried out on stretchers by paramedics.
2:45am: Police confirm the siege is over.
Sydney siege is over. More details to follow.— NSW Police (@nswpolice) December 15, 2014
5:35am: Police confirm three people are dead: the hostage taker, Man Monis, as well as a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman.
- Four other hostages are injured. One woman, aged in her 40s, was shot in the leg and another woman in the shoulder. A 39-year-old male police officer received a gunshot graze to the cheek and a 30-year-old woman was being treated for back pain.
5:45am: NSW Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione address media to reassure the public the incident was the act of an individual and people should continue about their normal lives.
"Unbelievably we have lost some of our own in an attack we thought we would never see in our city," Mr Baird said.
- Police confirm there were 17 hostages altogether.
source: newshub archive