Melbourne cafe owner identified as victim of Bourke Street terror attack

Clay Curtis
November 15, 2018

Yesterday's attack saw 31 year old Mohammad Khalif drive his vehicle into the busy street where it was set alight.

Somalia-born Shire Ali, 30, fatally stabbed Melbourne restaurateur Sisto Malaspina - who will be farewelled at a state funeral next week - and injured two others on Friday after driving a ute into Bourke St and setting it alight.

Especially the first responders and police that put themselves in harm's way to protect others - your bravery and heroism is a representation of the strength and solidarity of our community.

"To the people of Melbourne, your heartfelt tributes have shown us why our Dad loved this great city so much", the Malaspinas said.

"If they know somebody within the family unit, within the workplace, that they see a change in behaviour that they believe may be radicalised or about to act out, we need that information".

"To him everyone was special".

"We still haven't come to terms with it, we just haven't come to terms with it yet".

Patrons and supporters lined up to sign condolences into a visitor's book at the front of the cafe, sobbing and holding each other as they placed flowers at a memorial in front of the shop window displaying a large photo of Mr Malaspina.

Dad was a larger-than-life character and his natural generosity made every individual he met feel welcome and important.

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Premier Daniel Andrews has extended the offer of a state funeral for Sisto, which his family accepted.

Ideas are being considered for a lasting tribute to Mr Malaspina including renaming the laneway next to Pellegrini's Espresso Bar, which he co-owned.

On Tuesday, the sheik who leads the Islamic youth centre that was attended by the Bourke Street attacker made his own criticisms of the government's line.

"He was actually talking about going back to work tonight [last night], and I told him not to".

"We've been business partners since 1974 and we were friends for 10 years before that", said Pangrazio.

In a statement released this afternoon, Pellegrini's staff announced they will be "serving long blacks for free" in memory of Mr Malaspina - "it was Sisto's favourite" - tomorrow.

"Thank you for making us staff members as part of your life", it said.

"Like when the needles in the strawberries was happening, he would give people a discount on their coffees if they showed us they bought strawberries that day". The family worked hard to take him to the doctor to be diagnosed but he said no and wouldn't co-operate.

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