After a harrowing 16 hours of being held hostage in a Lindt cafe in Sydney, Ms Harriette Denny was able to escape just minutes before the siege ended in gunfire on Tuesday.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Denny was one of the hostages who was filmed with her hands up against the glass window of the store. The 30-year-old Lindt employee had worked at the Martin Place cafe for about a year and was friends with manager Tori Johnson.
Mr Johnson was one of the two victims killed during the siege. He had reportedly tried to grab the weapon from the gunman when the gun went off and killed him.
Ms Denny ran from the store along with five other hostages just before police launched their assault.
Speaking to the Brisbane Times, her father, Mr Robert Denny, said his daughter was traumatised but physically unharmed. "We didn't speak about her ordeal. We just wanted to know she was safe and unharmed. She said that she's safe and well and in a good place, but terribly upset that she's lost her manager and friend Tori Johnson."
Mr Denny, who runs the Hidden Bean cafe in the Sunshine Coast, had been at work when friends called to tell him that they had seen photographs of his daughter in the media. He spent the rest of the day monitoring the news with his wife for updates about his daughter.
"We felt relief that she was getting out but we didn't know how it was going to unfold. We couldn't be sure that it was her until we saw it a second and third time," he said.
He said the family would speak to Ms Denny later on Tuesday to decide if they would travel to be with her in Sydney.