Watching the live news feeds of the Sydney siege, it soon became clear to me that a proper timeline of events leading up to the police raid needed to be done.

So the day after, I grabbed as many TV news feeds as I could. I then went through each of them in an attempt to work out when each critical incident occured.

I posted this on Twitter a few days ago, but I thought I’d write it here for a more permanent recording of it.

The times (seconds in particular) are slightly different (3-4 seconds) on each transmission feed, due to the various delays that occur in any live transmission.

2:04:00am - There is a sound of a gunshot, mentioned by a reporter on the scene. It can also be heard in one of the TV feeds. 2:04:02am - Seconds later, six people escape the cafe.

Not much really happens after that for about 7 minutes, until the reporters on the scene report hearing another gunshot.

2:11:16am - TV Presenter on 9 says there is news of “another bang”. It’s noted that it sounded very familair to the gunshot at 2:04:00am. 2:11:39am - Another hostage escapes. It’s likely that she’s a staff member.

2:14:21am - Cops start the assault on the cafe, breaching the doors and going in.

By my maths:

  • 17 hostages to begin.
  • 5 escaped that afternoon
  • 6 escape at 2:04am
  • 1 more escapes at 2:11:39.

That left 5 in the cafe when the police went in.

After the time of what is reported as the first gunshot at 2:04am - it’s 9 and a half minutes before the police are in the cafe.

Additional times:

  • The shooting/explosions ended around 2:14:56am, about 35 seconds after the cops went in.
  • Interestingly, at 2:17:14am - about 2 minutes after the first lot of shooting - there’s another round of explosions of some sort. It seems like many of the police outside weren’t expecting it, because they all duck/take cover pretty quickly.


  • The times are taken as best I could from the transmission feeds of all the major networks - 24, Sky, 9 and 7.
  • The News24 feed I used is exported from the transmission log, which has a timestamp burnt into the vision.