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WATCH: Partner of Sydney Siege Hero Remembers His 'Soulmate'

WATCH: Partner of Sydney Siege Hero Remembers His 'Soulmate'


Australians and the world are hearing from the long-term partner of Tori Johnson, being called a hero of Tuesday's cafe hostage situation in Sydney, and in the process learning that some heroes are gay.

Thomas Zinn, surviving partner of Tori Johnson, the Lindt Chocolate Cafe manager being hailed as a hero for giving his life trying to save the lives of other hostages taken during a 16-hour siege in Sydney spoke to national media for the first time Friday.

Zinn thanked the Australian public for their expressions of grief and gratitude at the sacrifice made by the man he loved for 14 years in an interview on Australia's Nine Network morning show, Today.

A sea of flowers has sprung up at Sydney's Martin Place, near the besieged cafe, and has been growing deeper and wider as mourners and well-wishers continue to lay flowers in memory and in honor of the victims killed by a hostage-taker who has been described as "crazed" and "infatuated" with Islamic extremism.

"I think it's amazing that he has been able to make our city smell like flowers," Zinn told Today host Lisa Wilkinson. "I think there is no more beautiful thing."

Zinn expressed sympathy for the family of the other hostage killed, Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old lawyer and mother of three. During her interview with Zinn, host Wilkinson noted that Johnson's mother appeared to have been profoundly moved by a drawing with a message placed among the flowers at Martin Place in central Sydney.

The drawing was brightly colored in pink, yellow, blue, and orange crayon. It was created by Dawson's 3-year-old daughter and bore the words,"I love you, Mum."

CNN has reported that the hostage taker, Man Haron Monis, was facing charges of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, who was found in a stairwell stabbed and set ablaze. He was killed by gunfire as police raided the cafe after a 16-hour standoff Tuesday.

In what appears to be a collaboration with at least two other hostages, Johnson attempted to tackle Monis, creating enough time and space for six hostages to escape before Johnson was killed, according to information gleaned from a report that saw Zinn call Johnson his "soulmate," and another published by The Telegraph.

Johnson's apparent heroism and concern for others doesn't surprise Zinn, who says his partner of 14 years was always highlighting the importance of spending time with and caring for friends and family.

"He made it very clear that family is the most important thing in our lives and we have to cherish that and make sure we spend enough time with our families, that's absolute priority," Zinn told Today.

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

Watch as the memory of a hero, who happened to be a gay man, is honored by his surviving partner.

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