'Last Photo' of PC Keith Palmer Taken Just 45 Minutes Before London Terror Attack: Tourist
The 17-year law enforcement veteran can be seen posing for a photo with American tourist Staci Martin, who said he happily agreed stand and smile with her.
What is believed to be the last photo taken of PC Keith Palmer, the London police officer killed trying to protect Parliament and innocent bystanders from terror suspect Khalid Masood, may have been taken less than an hour before the deadly incident occurred.
The 17-year law enforcement veteran can be seen posing for a photo with American tourist Staci Martin, who said the kind officer happily agreed to stand and smile near Westminster Bridge, about 45 minutes before Masood plowed a car through the crowd and stabbed him to death.
“It’s my first time in London and I see his hat and I’m like ‘I have to take a picture of him with his hat,’ said Palmer, of Florida, ABC News reported. “I walked up to him and said ‘do you mind if I take a picture?’ He said ‘no problem.’ He was really nice.”
Andrew Thorogood shared a similar experience with 48-year-old Palmer, who posed for a photo with the man and his children who visited from Australia last October.
“It sent a shiver down my spine when I realised Keith was the officer who was killed in the London terror attack which took place last night,” Thorogood wrote on Facebook. “I spoke with Keith for quite a while and found him to be a genuinely nice bloke. He said he would love to visit Australia with his family one day … That will never happen now, all because he was doing his job and trying to keep people safe in the face of yet another crazy terror attack.
“Our thoughts are with his wife and family,” he continued. “With everyone so suspicious of everyone else these days, he was happy to chat and smile for a photo with a bunch of Territorians on holiday whilst still remaining vigilant and carrying out his duties as a police officer.”
The Metropolitan Police announced it would not re-issue Palmer’s shoulder number in honor of the fallen officer who his family remembered as “a wonderful dad and husband,” “a loving son, brother and uncle,” and “a friend to everyone who knew him.”
Footage has also surfaced of a woman who was forced into the River Thames as Masood careened into the crowded political center and tourist attraction.
Andrea Cristea was reportedly hit by Masood’s SUV and pushed into the water.
Emergency responders pulled the woman from the river and she was rushed to the hospital, where she was operated on for a blood clot in her brain, the BBC reported.
The Romanian ambassador told the BBC that Cristea's boyfriend Andrea Burnaz, who was also injured, had been planning to propose to her later that day.
Masood, 52, was shot dead by police after he mounted the sidewalk, crashed into the bridge’s railings and ran onto the Parliamentary grounds.
He charged at PC Palmer, stabbing the unarmed officer with two large knives before he was killed.
Born as Adrian Russell Elms, in Dartford, Kent, Masood was also known as Adrian Russell Ajao after he took his stepfather's name as a child, the BBC wrote.
His previous convictions included possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses.
In the early 2000s Masood was reportedly convicted of causing grievous bodily harm for slashing a man across the face with a knife in a pub.
The night before the attack, Masood stayed at a £59-a-night hotel in Brighton, a few hours south of London.
He checked in as Khalid “Masoud” and said he was visiting friends, manager Sabeur Toumi told the BBC, noting the man was “friendly and smiley,” and was a “nice guest.”
“There is nothing in his conduct that would make me have any suspicious thoughts towards him,” fellow guest Michael Petersen told Sky News.
Authorities said the investigation was focusing on his motivation, preparation and his associates.
Investigators were also probing if Masood “acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him,” Assistant Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley said.
Eleven people have been arrested across Britain since Wednesday's deadly Parliament attack, and all remain detained except for one woman who has been released on bail.
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