'Disbelief': Bourke Street Victim Identified As Beloved Cafe Owner Sisto Malaspina
The co-owner of iconic Melbourne cafe Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar has been named as the man fatally stabbed in Friday's Bourke Street attack.
Multiple media outlets are naming Sisto Malaspina as the man who was killed when Hassan Khalif Shire Ali pulled out a knife after his car burst into flames on the busy Melbourne street.
Ali was later shot by police as he lunged at officers following the deadly attack at Bourke Street on Friday afternoon, bringing the shopping area to a standstill.
It has been reported Malaspina had rushed to the scene in attempts to help after he saw the car alight.
“Such a sad day for Melbourne," business partner Nino Pangrazio told the Herald Sun.
“He loved life. He was always happy. Never a bad word, never a dull moment."
Pellegrini's opened in the 1950s, and became famous for being the first in the area to have an espresso machine. The decor and style has stayed the same since opening, becoming a fixture of Melbourne's dining scene.
Friends and customers began a large floral tribute outside the cafe as news of Malaspina's death became known.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a news conference that he sent love to the family of the victims.
"As a nation we grieve today for a life tragically and violently taken," the PM said.
"We send our love and prayers to the family, who suffered a great loss."
Labor leader Bill Shorten and Hollywood actor Russell Crowe were among the many who shared their sadness at the loss of Malaspina, whose cafe was a beloved Melbourne institution.