The man killed in yesterday’s Bourke Street terror attack in Melbourne has been identified as Sisto Malaspina, the owner of the beloved Pellegrini’s cafe, and one of the founders of the city’s cherished coffee culture.
Per reports in the Herald Sun, Malaspina took over the Bourke Street business in 1974 and has maintained it in its traditional style since then. Pellegrini’s was also famous for being the first Melbourne cafe to have an espresso machine.
In yesterday afternoon’s attack, a vehicle was driven into the busy CBD street and set alight, before the assailant began attacking passers-by with a knife.
Tragically, a source close to Malaspina claims that he initially entered the fray in an attempt to “help the guy when his car blew up.” Two other men received non-fatal stab wounds in the attack.
Staff at the cafe are said to be devastated and “walking around in circles” as they try and come to terms with the terrible loss.
Pellegrini’s is closed over the weekend and remains under police guard, and members of the public have begun to place floral tributes have been placed in the window of the business.
Earlier today, Victorian police named the attacker as 31-year-old Mohamed Khalif. He was shot on the scene after confronting police, and died a short time later in hospital.
Bourke Street has since been reopened, and residents of Melbourne are advised that planned weekend events at Flemington and Remembrance Day commemorations will still go ahead as planned.