The victim of a terrorist attack in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday has been identified as local coffee shop owner Sisto Malaspina.
Mr Malaspina, the owner of Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, was fatally stabbed on Bourke Street on Friday afternoon by a lone terrorist.
It’s believed he was stabbed after running to help his attacker after his car exploded, the Herald Sun reported.
Pellegrini’s opened in 1974 and was the first café in Melbourne to have an espresso coffee machine.
Mr Malaspina’s business partner Nino Pangrazio told the Herald Sun his colleague’s death was a “sad day for Melbourne” and described him as “the happiest person you could imagine”.
“Never a bad word, never a dull moment,” he said.
He also became a grandfather for the first time last week.
Tributes also flowed on social media for Mr Malaspina.
One man wrote he was “stunned” by his death and described Mr Malaspina.
“Said hello to Sisto last weekend, when I had a coffee with a friend at Pellegrini’s,” he tweeted.
“Such a lovely gentleman. Always chatting with customers.”
Another woman added she’s “absolutely devastated”.
“He was and always will be one of the most friendliest men I have ever met,” she tweeted.
“Not too long ago I was in for my birthday and he celebrated this with me with his kind hospitality.”
Terrorist ‘planned explosion’ for Melbourne
The terrorist has been named by police as 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.
Shire Ali stabbed three man, including Mr Palaspina. The other two are currently recovering in Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The 30-year-old planned to cause an explosion by igniting gas cylinders in his car, police said.
– With AAP