Utah Man Killed in London Terror Attack While on Anniversary 'Dream Vacation' with His Wife
A married Utah couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary are among the victims of Wednesday's terror attack near Parliament in London
A Utah husband and wife celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary are among the victims of Wednesday’s terror attack near the U.K.’s Parliament in London, PEOPLE confirms.
Kurt Cochran died in the car and knife assault, his brother-in-law Clint Payne said in a statement.
Payne said his sister Melissa, Kurt’s wife, “received serious injuries” and has been hospitalized. Metropolitan police in London confirmed Kurt’s death later Thursday.
The couple had traveled to Europe to celebrate their anniversary and were planning to return home on Thursday — one day after the violence. They were visiting Melissa’s parents, who are missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in London.
“Our family is heartbroken,” Payne said in his statement.
“Kurt was a good man and a loving husband,” he said, adding, “We express our gratitude to the emergency and medical personnel who have cared for them and ask for your prayers on behalf of Melissa and our family.”
President Donald Trump reacted to Kurt’s death, writing Thursday morning on Twitter that he was a “great American.”
“My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends,” Trump wrote.
Relatives told KSTU that Kurt died Thursday morning and that the couple was on a “dream vacation,” traveling to Germany and Austria as well as Britain.
Melissa suffered “a broken leg, broken rib and a cut to her head” but will recover, Payne wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“Our hearts ache for her and their children in losing their loving companion and father,” he wrote. “Please continue to pray for our family.”
The Cochrans were on Westminster Bridge Wednesday afternoon when an armed attacker plowed through dozens of pedestrians in his SUV, according to KSTU. The attacker then crashed into a gate near the Palace of Westminster and fatally stabbed a police officer, authorities said.
Police said five people were killed, including the assailant and officer, and 40 more were injured, including an American. Investigators have described the incident as terrorism.
Other victims include a mom of two who was killed while heading to pick up her daughters from school.
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A GoFundMe, administered by Payne, has since been created to raise money for Melissa, to cover expenses and her loss of income.
Payne wrote that Kurt and Melissa were self-employed, “having built a recording studio business from the ground up over the last 10 years.”
“During that time they donated their recording and sound skills to the Summerfest celebration in Bountiful, Utah, to local school productions, and many other worthy causes,” he wrote.
The Cochran family has asked for privacy, a church spokesman tells PEOPLE.
British Prime Minster Theresa May said that the attacker, later identified as Khalid Masood, was born in Britain and was “once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism.”
A Twitter account associated with ISIS has claimed responsibility.
• With reporting by PHIL BOUCHER