Melbourne mourns cafe icon who tried to help madman TERROR TEARS AT CITY’S SOUL
SISTO Malaspina was murdered after rushing to help.
The co-owner of iconic Melbourne cafe Pellegrini’s went to see if anyone was inside a burning ute, unaware the blaze was not an accident.
Mr Malaspina, 74, was then stabbed in the neck when terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali jumped out of the ute.
His death sent a shockwave through the city and he is being remembered as “the happiest person you could imagine”.
A woman who came to his aid spoke yesterday of the desperate attempts to perform CPR to save his life and of his peaceful final moments.
The mother, who had medical training, said there was no chance of survival.
“I know I did everything I could to try and save this poor man,” she said.
“I made the sign of the cross on his forehead and said, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, at least you are now at peace’.
“The last bit was peaceful but everything else was violent. I had to wipe the blood off his brow, I needed to give him that dignity because his face was so kind.”
More shocking images of the carnage emerged yesterday, with CCTV footage graphically showing the moment a 24-year-old Hampton Park security guard was stabbed in the neck.
Shire Ali is pictured with his deadly knife raised, charging at the guard who appeared to be caught by surprise.
Hollywood stars, politicians and loyal Pellegrini’s customers were among those paying tribute to Mr Malaspina.
The hard-working Italian immigrant was a fixture in his traditional Italian cafe, like it had been for more than four decades, working up to 70 hours a week. He had wel- comed his hi first fi grandchild just over a week ago.
Nino Pangrazio, co-owner in Pellegrini’s, which had become a Melbourne tourist attraction, was distraught at the loss of his friend.
“He loved life. He was always happy. Never a bad word, never a dull moment,” he said. “The happiest person you could imagine. Always had a smile. Always had a smile for a pretty face, always with a joke.”
Actor Russell Crowe, Wiggle Anthony Field, Olympian Tamsyn Lewis, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten were among those who paid tribute yesterday.
The cafe owner was just a few hundred metres from his restaurant when he died. Last night it resembled a shrine as locals left flowers outside.
Shire Ali also stabbed Rod Patterson, 58, in the head after he went to help a victim, as well as the Hampton Park security guard.
Both remained in hospital last night but were expected to recover from their injuries.
A brave police officer shot Shire Ali in the chest to stop him from hurting anyone else and he died later in hospital.
Police believe Shire Ali planned to kill many more people in Friday’s attack.
They believe the way that he packed gas cylinders into his ute before setting it alight showed he aimed to cause mass casualties.
But failing to build a more sophisticated bomb is believed to have spared many lives.
Police hope items – including computers and phones – seized during early-morning raids yesterday will provide an insight into his evil actions.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the explosives in Ali’s ute were poorly prepared.
“It was not sophisticated,”