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Body found at Brunswick East, off Lygon Street

MML

A well-known lawyer and businessman has been shot dead outside a cafe at Brunswick East in what police believe to be a professional hit.

Joseph ‘Pino’ Acquaro, 55, was walking to his car on St Phillips Street around 12.40am on Tuesday after closing his Lygon Street business.

His body was found by a rubbish truck driver around 3am on Tuesday.

Paramedics were called, but he was already dead when they arrived.

There was a suspicious fire at the cafe in late January – but police don’t believe it’s connected.

‘It certainly smacks of a targeted attack,’ Mick Hughes from the homicide squad told Neil Mitchell.

The Age is reporting the murdered man had allegedly been the subject of a $200,000 underworld murder contract.

It is also understood that Mr Acquaro had been warned by police that his life was in danger and told that he should take measures to protect his safety.

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