Olivia Newton-John was stunned to learn that one of the victims of the Sydney hostage crisis last week (ends21Dec14) was a relative of her close friends.

On 15 December (14), a lone gunman held 17 people hostage inside a cafe in the Australian city during a 16-hour stand-off with armed police. Two hostages, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, died at the scene and four others were injured.

Johnson, the cafe manager, was reportedly shot as he tried to wrestle the weapon from the gunman, prompting the police unit to move in and storm the cafe, ending the siege.

Newton-John posted a message on Facebook.com on Tuesday (23Dec14), the day of the victims' memorial service, to pay tribute to Johnson, who was related to her close friends.

She writes, "It was so shocking to hear of a hostage situation in my heart home Australia and then I was so saddened to hear of the senseless loss of life of 2 innocent people. I was stunned to learn that the hero of this horrific situation, Tori Johnson, was the nephew of our dear friends who told me: 'We just want everyone to know what a beautiful, good, gentle, kind, soft spoken person Tori was - the very antithesis of this act of violence. The loss is immeasurable - But so is the love he left behind'. I send my love and condolences to both families - and pray for love and peace."

The gunman died during the siege.