The grieving partner of a gay man killed in the deadly cafe siege in Sydney, Australia is speaking out.
As the Associated Press first reported, Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old manager of the Lindt Chocolat Cafe, was among the 17 hostages taken by the gunman and one of two who were killed after a 16-hour standoff. The other victim was 38-year-old Katrina Dawson, a mother of three.
Johnson's partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn, spoke of his "unimaginable grief" in a video statement released to the international media via Australia's Today Show, but nonetheless said he was "incredibly moved" by the global support he and his loved ones had received since the tragedy.
"As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family," Zinn said. "This tragedy will remain with us forever. But the uniting effects of this week, how they have galvanized our city, our country makes us even more proud of Tori and Katrina and proud of all Australians."
He added, "We cannot undo the events of Dec. 16, but it has made our diverse community even stronger and more unified."
In a separate interview with Today's Lisa Wilkinson, Zinn said Johnson would have been moved by the flowers and messages at a makeshift memorial that has sprung up at Martin Place, a plaza in Sydney's financial and shopping district where the siege took place.
"Tori loves flowers, and this is probably the most beautiful thing...that he has ever seen," Zinn said. "It's just amazing that he has been able to make our city smell like flowers."
Zinn said he hoped Johnson would be remembered as a "humble and very generous person" who "made it very clear that family is the most important thing in our lives," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.