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Sydney siege: Partner of gay hero pays tribute to ‘soulmate’

Sydney siege: Partner of gay hero pays tribute to ‘soulmate’

The partner of the gay café owner who has been hailed a hero for his part in the Sydney siege today paid tribute to his ‘soulmate.’

Tori Johnson, 34, was one of 17 hostages seized at Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Martins Place on Monday.

He was shot while protecting the other hostages and died later in hospital.

Barrister Katrina Dawson, 38, was also killed while shielding her pregnant friend.

Johnson’s partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn, described his ‘soulmate’ as ‘the most positive human being I’ve ever met’ and said they had hoped to get married.

‘I would like him to be remembered as a humble and very generous person,’ he told Nine Network.

‘He made it very clear that family was the most important thing in our lives and that we have to cherish that and spend enough time with our families.

‘That was an absolute priority.’

Zinn, 35, thanked the public for the tens of thousand of flowers that have been laid near the hostage site.

‘Tori loves flowers and this is probably the most beautiful thing,’ he said.

‘I’m sure he can see it.’

‘When I was down there yesterday, I could smell the flowers through Sydney, and I think it’s just amazing that he has been able to make our city smell like flowers.

‘I think there is no more beautiful thing that he could have imagined.

‘From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all immensely.’

Zinn read out a joint statement on behalf of himself and Johnson’s and Dawson’s families.

‘As you can imagine this is a very difficult time for our family,’ he said.

‘We are experiencing unimaginable grief but when we look at the sea of flowers, with all the heartfelt messages and the crowds of supporters at Martin Place, we know that this grief is shared by the whole country – and the rest of the world.

‘This tragedy will remain with us forever but the uniting effects of this week and how they have galvanised our city, our country, makes us even more proud of Tori and Katrina – and proud of all Australians.

‘We would like to extend our love and condolences to Katrina’s family – to her children, her husband and loved ones. We stand beside you through this difficult time. We also send our love to the other hostages and their families.

‘We hope that they can recover swiftly from this traumatic experience.

‘We want to thank all of the brave people who were present at the event. In particular, we would like to thank the NSW Police and Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police, paramedics and all of the emergency services that worked tirelessly through the night and made sure that we – and all of the other families -were taken care of. We are incredibly moved by your patience, empathy and dedication.

‘We also want to thank the many people who have supported us and continue to stand by us through this tragedy; from close friends to complete strangers -the outpouring of love, kindness and generosity has been overwhelming.

‘The people of Lindt Chocolates as well the people at Intercontinental Hotels Group have also been very supportive.

‘We cannot undo the events of December 16, but it has made our diverse community even stronger and more unified.

‘From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all immensely.’