Updated -- Tuesday Dec. 16 at 11:35 a.m. ET
Cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister Katrina Dawson, 38, have been identified as the two people killed in the Sydney hostage drama. According to several reports, both were killed attempting to protect others on Tuesday morning.
As authorities avoided providing detailed explanations about how the 16-hour siege came to a violent end, Mr Johnson was being remembered as a "great guy" who had managed the cafe since 2012.
He is being hailed as the "hero" of the hostage situation by Channel Seven News, which reported that he rushed the gunman, trying to knock the gun out of his hand as he went to sleep.
New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn would not confirm that Johnson's moves against the gunman at 0200 AEST sparked the lethal police action. She said a special police investigation into the incident would provide the answers.
Johnson leaves behind his partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn. The family released a statement through journalist Ben Fordham.
Katrina Dawson is a mother of three children and reportedly was trying to protect one of the pregnant hostages when she was shot during the raid. News.com.au reported she died on the way to the hospital from cardiac arrest.
The NSW legal community is in a deep state of mourning over the loss of someone considered a "bright young" lawyer who had been admitted as a barrister in 2005.
"It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I must inform members of the New South Wales Bar Association that Katrina Dawson, of 8 Selborne Chambers, passed away in the early hours of this morning," wrote NSW Bar President Jane Needham SC in a note on Tuesday morning.
"Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar. She was a devoted mother of three children, and a valued member of her floor and of our bar community."
Johnson was reportedly getting a coffee with her colleagues when she was caught in the hostage situation at the Lindt Cafe yesterday.
NSW Police confirmed three women are still being treated for gunshot wounds in hospital. The two pregnant hostages are both in stable condition.
The 50-year-old gunman, Man Haron Monis, was killed in the raid on the Lindt Cafe, in what is considered one of Australia's most brazen attacks in many years.