‘Icon’ named as Bourke St victim

THE staff of an iconic Melbourne cafe are in mourning today after a veteran of Melbourne's cafe culture has been named as the victim of Friday's brutal stabbing attack in the CBD.

The Herald Sun has named veteran Melbourne cafe owner Sisto Malaspina as the victim of the brutal stabbing attack after he was reportedly stabbed on Bourke Street.

Police are calling the incident a terrorist attack.

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Malaspina was the owner of Pellegrini's, a mainstay of Melbourne's cafe culture. Malaspina has owned the cafe since 1974 with his business partner Nino Pangrazio.

The cafe will be closed over the weekend as his staff mourn the loss. Support has flowed in as the cafe window was shown filled with floral tributes.

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.

THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK

A 26-year-old and a 58-year-old were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The older victim has been named as Rod Patterson, a businessman from Tasmania. In a tweet, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman praised him for his bravery, saying "a nicer bloke you wouldn't meet".

Mr Patterson's actions in Bourke Street have been hailed as heroic by his friends and family, as he recovers in hospital following the attack.

As the knife wielding terrorist lunged at police and other bystanders, killing one, Patterson was caught in the affray. He was stabbed by attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.

One of the victims of the attack, Tasmanian man Rod Patterson
One of the victims of the attack, Tasmanian man Rod Patterson

Patterson, a Tasmanian, was known to the state's Premier Will Hodgman, who described him as a characteristically brave man known for his kindness.

"It's not surprising he would step in to help others, we all wish him well," he said.

"A nicer bloke you wouldn't meet," he said.

Posting on Facebook, his wife Maree confirmed that the couple were caught up in the incident.

"Unfortunately we got caught up in the attack in Bourke Street this afternoon and Rodney was hurt.

"Good news is he is in a great hospital and doing OK given the circumstances - can't take calls at the moment but will speak to everyone when I can," she wrote.

"Thanks to everyone for their wishes and caring."

Patterson is a retiree and former football club President, who led his team to a premiership victory during his tenure.

The third victim is yet to be identified.

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