The death toll grows. We heard earlier that a “number of people had been hit,” so the death toll may go higher still. AP has this: “Police say 34-year-old man and 38-year-old woman are among 3 dead in Sydney hostage crisis.” Time for another mainstream media story about “backlash” against Muslims.
“Gunman and Two Others Dead in Sydney Hostage Crisis,” by Hamish MacDonald, Dan Good, Rym Momtaz and Meghan Keneally, ABC, December 15, 2014:
The gunman who had been holding people hostage inside a chocolate store in downtown Sydney has been killed, Australian police confirmed to ABC News.
And two other people have been killed, a highly place Australian source told ABC News.
The suspect had previously been identified as Man Monis by local news reports, and the manner in which he died still remains unclear but New South Wales police have confirmed his death. The identities of the two others killed were not immediately revealed.
Police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning, local time, and three injuries have been reported, including one policeman.
Explosions of what were believed to be flash bang grenades were heard when police stormed the shop and while there were many loud noises, it is not clear if or how many shots were fired by either police or Monis during the face off.
At 10:19 a.m. ET, a group of at least seven heavily armed police officers went into the Lindt cafe under the cover of loud bangs of what local news Channel 9 is calling stun grenades. Shortly after the police stormed the café, at least two hostages emerged, looking visibly shaken.
A few minutes later, a few paramedics were seen entering the café behind police officers with medical packs — followed by at least two stretchers. The explosive police action came shortly after a new wave of hostages emerged from the shop.
Monis was believed to be a self-proclaimed Islamic “sheikh” who is known to Australian police because he was allegedly involved in dozens of counts of sexual assault, according to Australia’s 9News.
He was born in Iran as Manteghi Bourjerdi and migrated to Australia in 1996, according to the station.