Five people, including a three-month-old baby boy, have now died after a speeding car charged through pedestrians just after lunchtime on Friday.
Among the dead are Jess Mudie, 22, and Matthew Si, 33, whose families came forward on Sunday to speak about the sickening incident.
Mr Si’s wife, Melinda, said she had just finished having lunch with her husband when he was struck by the car.
She described him as a devoted husband, father, brother and son, taken right before her eyes.
“The family would like to thank everyone who helped Matt at the scene and did their best to save him,” she said in a statement. “The family are shattered.”
In a heartfelt letter released on Sunday, Ms Mudie’s family said she will be remembered as a “bright bubble of joy” and as the “most badass” daughter and sister who had a great sense of humour.
“We are constantly inspired by your love for everyone around you and the lengths you will go to for the people you love,” her family said in the letter.
“You are strong, beautiful, determined, always work hard to get what you want and never shy away from a challenge.”
The two families are grieving along with the families of a 25-year-old man and the baby boy thrown from a pram, who have not been publicly identified at this time.
The family of 10-year-old Thalia Hakin also held a memorial service for her on Sunday night.
Her nine-year-old sister, Maggie, and mother, Nathalie, were also caught up in the horrific crush of pedestrians and are still in hospital. Nathalie remains in intensive care.
The Age understands it was the family’s wish not to run a picture of Thalia until Sabbath had ended. That period has now passed.
Many more were injured in Friday’s rampage. Countless others were left traumatised.
More than 20 remain in hospital, and six of those are listed in a critical condition.
“They are critical. They’re in a very, very serious condition,” said Premier Daniel Andrews. “The fear is, of course, that the death toll from this evil act will rise.”
The alleged driver, Dimitrious ‘Jimmy’ Gargasoulas, was arrested at the scene after police shot him in the arm.
The 26-year-old underwent surgery for the gunshot wound on Saturday, but police had still not been given the go-ahead from doctors to interview him as of Sunday evening.
Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the man will face murder charges as soon as detectives get a chance to speak with him.
“Yeah, absolutely, multiple counts,” he said.
The scale of the senseless tragedy has led to an outpouring of grief, with hundreds laying flowers at a growing makeshift memorial at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Bourke Street Mall.
Political leaders, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, and Mr Andrews visited the floral tribute on the steps of the former General Post Office on Sunday, joining mourners who have been leaving flowers and tributes.
Mr Turnbull said he admired the heroism of first responders and anyone who tried to help those that had been injured in Friday’s rampage.
“All Australians are with you, the people of Melbourne, the people of Victoria, in your grief,” he said.
“We are with you in solidarity, we are grieving with you, we are mourning those whose lives have been lost.”
Mr Andrews announced there will be a public vigil held at 5.30pm on Monday at Federation Square.
The state government has also contributed $100,000 to launch a community fund to raise money for the relatives of the dead. Anyone wishing to donate can do so from Monday morning at any Westpac bank or online at www.vic.gov.au/bourkestreet.
The memorial fund and planned vigil come as the deaths prompted calls for changes to the state’s bail laws and police pursuit policies.
Mr Andrews said changes would be made to bail laws where necessary.
“Resources will not be an issue, expense will not be an issue. If reform and change are needed to be made, be in no doubt, it will be made,” he told reporters.
Police were trailing Mr Gargasoulas for at least two hours before the Bourke Street tragedy.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Saturday he was “rock solid” behind the decisions police made while trying to apprehend the driver.
But a high-ranking police officer told Fairfax Media there was deep concerns and widespread confusion among members about when they should engage or abandon potentially dangerous car chases.
The injured in hospital:
– Royal Children Hospital: a two-year-old is in a serious condition and a nine-year-old is in a stable condition.
– Royal Melbourne Hospital: of the 11 patients they had, three are in critical condition, one is serious and five are stable. Two patients have been discharged.
– St Vincent’s Hospital: received six patients, one with chest pain and anxiety after witnessing the event.
– A St Vincent’s Hospital spokeswoman said of the five patients who had been brought in with physical injuries, one had been discharged. She said the other four were in a stable condition. “We have two women, 37 and 33-year-old and two men, a 31-year-old from Sydney and a 47-year-old.
– The Alfred: of the seven patients they received, three are critical and four are in a stable condition.
Donations for the immediate families of those killed can be made via the website www.vic.gov.au/bourkestreet.html.
For urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Witnesses and victims requiring support can also call the Victims’ Support Helpline on 1800 819 817.
A vigil is being planned from 5.30pm on Monday at Federation Square.