restaurant manager who was stabbed to death in front of horrified diners has been named by police as Ian Gualavisi.
Police and medics were called to Ecuadorian restaurant Rincon Costeno in Elephant and Castle on Tuesday at around 7.45pm after Mr Gualavisi was stabbed in the back.
Customers said they had seen a “tall man in a motorcycle helmet” burst into the family-run restaurant and attack Mr Gualavisi.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics, the 23-year-old was declared dead at the scene.
A murder investigation was launched, and while formal identification is yet to take place, detectives named Mr Gualavisi as the victim, saying he had lived in London all his life.
They believe that he was attacked by two men at the scene who fled on a moped towards Elephant and Castle Rail Station.
Mr Gualavisi was previously found at the restaurant with significant head injuries and a “possible machete wound” in his back in a separate incident in July this year, according to a Southwark Council licensing hearing which took place in August.
CCTV from the premises showed that a patron “smashed a glass bottle across the back of his head,” with police finding “a significant amount of blood, tables and chairs turned over and smashed glass over the floor”.
When asked by police, he said he could not “remember where or how he received his injuries and wanted the matter forgotten”, states the meeting report.
His next-of-kin have been informed, and a post-mortem is due to take place on Thursday. There have not yet been any arrests.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood said: “A dedicated team of officers is working round the clock to trace those responsible for taking Ian’s life and my thoughts are with his family as they come to terms with their tragic loss.”
He added: “We are in the process of collecting CCTV from the area and speaking to people who were nearby at the time of the attack.
“I would urge anyone who hasn’t spoken to us yet to contact police as soon as possible.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has information about what took place, is asked to call 101 giving the reference 6908/14DEC.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.