Two well known Utica residents were in Australia on Monday morning when the hostage standoff erupted at a Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney.

Leon Etienne and Romy Low, who appeared on NBC's America's Got Talent, were just flying out of Sydney when the standoff started.  They were flying to Melbourne to be with family and wanted to assure their friends and fans in New York that they were safe.

Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino, WIBX / Townsquare Media
Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino, WIBX / Townsquare Media
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"Joey Labella, former Utica Police SWAT member, was the first to contact me to ask if we were ok," said Etienne.  "Utica has our back. No matter where in the world we are," he added.


 

 

Speaking with WIBX's Bill Keeler via messages, Etienne was awake at 2 a.m. Australia time watching the event unfold on television, as police stormed the cafe.  Initial reports indicated that two people were killed, one of them the gunman, as police ended the 16

Leon Etienne with Sydney Santa and elves in Sydney, Australia on Monday morning, December 15th. (Photo by Romy Low and courtesy of Leon Etienne)
Leon Etienne with Sydney Santa and elves in Sydney, Australia on Monday morning, December 15th. (Photo by Romy Low and courtesy of Leon Etienne)
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