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Locals to take a stand over Sunshine stabbing

The Sunshine street where Fiona Warzywoda became the latest tragic victim of family violence will be closed on Tuesday night.

Domestic violence campaigners, residents, traders and police plan to gather at the corner of Devonshire and Hampshire roads from 5pm to honour the mother-of-four, who was allegedly stabbed to death by her abusive de facto husband.

"This area is really the CBD of Sunshine - the equivalent of our Bourke and Swanston streets," Brimbank police inspector Chris Gilbert said.

"It was a highly visible, high-impact and terrible crime so we are expecting a large turnout at the vigil."

Ms Warzywoda, 33, had been at Sunshine Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning over a family violence order in place against her abusive de facto husband of 18 years.

Police said the mother of four had left her solicitor's office just minutes before she was stabbed multiple times with a fishing knife in front of lunchtime shoppers.


Craig McDermott, 38, handed himself into police on Thursday morning after spending a day on the run.

Mr McDermott, of Sunshine North, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court later that night, charged with the murder, and was remanded until returning to court on August 7.

Organisers of Tuesday's vigil have encouraged mourners to bring candles and to knit or crochet red hearts in memory of the "brave woman who died trying to make a safe life for her and her children".

"Dropping off flowers wasn't enough," organiser Sophie Dutertre said.

"As someone who lives in the west and feels a strong attachment to this community, I do not want the death of this woman to be just a news item for a day, and to disappear from consciousness."

Ms Dutertre said what started as an email to several Sunshine community members has snowballed into larger plans for the vigil.

"There will be no political speeches or no political aspect to it. It's people getting together silently to make a stand."

Inspector Gilbert said the sentiment was similar to the outpouring of support after the death of Jill Meagher in Brunswick in 2012.

He said local police officers had tried desperately to resuscitate Ms Warzywoda, and her death will have a "long-lasting impact" on them.

"There is no geographic, ethnic of faith boundaries to violence against women, which is why it's really pleasing the community is getting involved like this," Inspector Gilbert said.

"We can't be on every corner, every minute of every day."

Western Metropolitan Greens MP Colleen Hartland said she had notified other local politicians, but stressed the vigil was not about grandstanding - "it's about women's lives that are at risk".

"Twenty-nine women have died in Victoria in the [past financial] year due to family violence, all behind closed doors. "This time it was on the street and we saw it, and suddenly we're horrified. We also need to be horrified at the women who die behind closed doors."