State funeral offer for Bourke St victim

Melbourne cafe owner identified as victim of Bourke Street terror attack

The stool at the bar where the 74-year-old would sit is empty.

Tributes continue to flow for the popular owner of Melbourne institution Pellegrini's while flowers, cards and candles continue to be placed outside the cafe. "To us he was just a attractive man, a loving husband and a doting father".

Mr Malaspina, 74, was bludgeoned to death by terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali who went on a stabbing frenzy in the city after setting a auto on fire with gas bottles inside.

Desperate efforts were made at scene to save Mr Malaspina by emergency workers, according to Markel Villasin, who worked at a KFC on Bourke Street, but he died at the scene.

Friday's street attack came after a January 2017 vehicle rampage through Bourke St which killed six people and injured dozens of others, and a December auto attack on Flinders Street which hit 16 pedestrians, killing one.

Australia should establish a British-style rapid response anti-terror unit with powers to track people on terrorist watch lists to prevent more extremist attacks, a counter-terrorism expert says following Melbourne's Bourke Street stabbing.

The Malaspina family agreed to the state funeral on Monday, less than a day after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the offer.

In a statement the family has thanked everyone who has paid their respects and shown their love and support. We are deeply moved by all the flowers, gifts and condolences.

"Until then, our love and thoughts remain with Sisto's family".

He said WA had a good capability to respond to any local attacks and frontline officers were trained to respond to so-called active shooter Incidents.

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

The Lakeside Joondalup cafe is offering free long blacks throughout Tuesday and has encouraged customers to participate to show their respect.

His staff left an emotive note clearly displayed in the window, calling Mr Malaspina "the best boss". Staff said the long black "was Sisto's favourite and will be in memory of him".

Sisto Malaspina was well known and loved around Melbourne.

"Bearing in mind, the whole episode hasn't really sunk in with us yet, with the family", he said.

Pellegrini's has requested that in lieu of more flowers, people who want to pay tribute should make a donation to The Salvation Army nearby in Bourke Street.

"Pellegrini was your life, we will never forget all that you have done and given us".



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