Family Mourns American Dad Killed in London Terror Attack: 'This Pain is So Heart-Wrenching'
Kurt Cochran, of Utah, is believed to have been knocked off Westminster Bridge onto a concrete underpass below in the London attack.
An American man touring Europe with his wife was among those killed in the terrorist attack in London, loved ones said on Thursday.
Kurt Cochran, of Utah, is believed to have been knocked off Westminster Bridge onto a concrete underpass below when a man, identified by authorities as Khalid Masood, drove a SUV into the crowded tourist attraction near the Houses of Parliament.
His wife, Melissa, was left with a broken leg, broken rib and cuts in the incident and is recovering in the hospital, a relative said in an announcement of Cochran’s passing on social media.
“With a heavy heart I must pass the sad news of our beautiful brother, father, husband, son and friend Kurt Cochran, he could not overcome the injuries he received in the London terror attacks,” Shantell Payne wrote on Facebook.
The couple was in the United Kingdom visiting Melissa’s parents who are serving a mission in London for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, relatives told KSTU-TV.
They had previously visited Scotland, Germany and Austria during the trip, posting smiling photos on Facebook of their time abroad.
“After a long day of sightseeing,” Cochran wrote on Facebook, sharing a picture of him happily holding up a local beer.
“This pain is so heart wrenching and raw it has rocked our family and all that knew him to its core. We will miss Kurt beyond words,” Payne wrote on Facebook. “We love you Kurt. RIP.”
The death toll rose to five on Thursday after a 75-year-old hospitalized man died following Wednesday's attack. The dead included the British-born assailant and a Metropolitan Police constable.
PC Keith Palmer, 48, was stabbed to death just inside a Parliament railing by the killer, who wielded two large knives as he charged the officer.
He was then shot dead by police.
Palmer, a 15-year veteran who served as a member of the Metropolitan Police’s parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, was a beloved husband, father of two and former member of the Royal Artillery, authorities said.
“He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift – and he had every right to expect that would happen,” Mark Rowley, the national lead for Counter Terrorism Policing and the Acting Deputy Commissioner, said.
Emergency responders, including Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood, tried in vain to save Palmer’s life, but his injuries were too severe.
The dedicated officer’s death stunned those close to him.
"I've known Keith for 25 years,” MP James Cleverly wrote on Twitter. We served together in the Royal Artillery before he became a copper. A lovely man, a friend. I'm heartbroken."
Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to Palmer in Parliament on Thursday, where elected officials observed a moment of silence for those killed and hurt in the attack.
"He was a husband and a father, killed doing a job he loved. He was every inch a hero, and his actions will never be forgotten," she said.
Mother-of-two Aysha Frade, 43, was on her way to pick up her children, ages 8 and 11, from school when she was killed in the attack, officials said.
Tributes on social media poured in for the British-born Spanish citizen who worked at DLD College in London, remembering the beloved woman as caring and taken too soon.
“Aysha Frade was my colleague. My heart aches for her family,” one friend wrote on Twitter.
Neighbor Patricia Scotland told reporters she was shocked to hear the news.
“She was such a kind lovely woman," she told the Telegraph, noting she had first met Aysha when she and John Frade—who became her husband and the father of her children—began dating.
“She was a lovely lady. I just can't believe what I'm hearing this morning," she said.
Those treated for injuries came from Britain, France, Romania, South Korea, Germany, Poland, China, Ireland, Italy, the United States and Greece, the Guardian reported.
On Thursday, authorities named the attacker as Khalid Masood. The 52-year-old man was British-born and had previously been investigated by authorities for "violent extremism," they said.
But he "was not part of the current intelligence picture," Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons on Thursday.
Islamic State on Thursday claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the suspect a “soldier” of the terror group who answered “calls to target citizens of coalition nations,” the Telegraph reported.
ISIL had vowed that the UK would be its next target after the 2015 Paris attacks.
Police were interviewing hundreds of people who were in the area at the time of the attack, authorities said. They noted they would be “carrying out a fast time examination” of footage seized from CCTV in the area.
By Thursday, police had raided six addresses and made eight arrests as part of the ongoing counter terrorism operation.
Calling the attack “sick and depraved,” Prime Minister May said it struck at values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.
She said the attacker had once been investigated by MI5 over extremism fears.
But she noted he had been a “peripheral figure,” saying: “He was not part of the current intelligence picture.”
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