Everything We Know About the London Terror Victims, Including the Utah Man on His 'Dream Vacation'
Among the dead is an American man who was enjoying a "dream vacation" with his wife, a Parliament police officer and a young mother of two
Three of the four victims slain in Wednesday’s horrific car and knife terror attack in London have officially been identified.
Among them is an American man who was enjoying a “dream vacation” with his wife for their 25th anniversary, as well as a Parliament police officer and a mother of two on her way to pick up her children at school.
Overall, 40 were injured in the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday morning, detailing their nationalities in a House of Commons address.
“In addition to twelve Britons admitted to hospital, we know that the victims include three French children, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian, one American and two Greeks,” she said.
The suspect – who has been identified by Scotland Yard as 52-year-old Khalid Masood – was also killed in the attack. Massod, according to police, was a U.K. native previously convicted on a range of offenses, including assaults, possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses. Massod was last convicted in 2003 for possession of a knife, and was not the subject of any current investigations, Scotland Yard said. He was living two hours outside of London at the time of the attack.
In the day since the assault on one of London’s most bustling areas, details about the deceased have poured in, remembering all three victims as gone far too soon.
Keith Palmer, 48, was the police officer on duty outside of Parliament who was fatally stabbed by the suspect, who attempted to gain entry to Parliament Palace after crashing his vehicle into a gate.
Scotland Yard identified Palmer as a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, who served on the police force for 15 years before his death. He was also a husband and father to a 5-year-old daughter.
In an interview with U.K. radio station LBC, David Darby, a former associate of Palmer’s who trained under him in the British Army, said “It’s such a waste.”
“[Palmer was] just so friendly, just an amazing guy,” Darby said. “I mean, that’s why he joined the police, to serve the public. He wanted to better the streets and better this country.”
Another woman, identified only as a former police officer named Nina, said she worked alongside Palmer at the same precinct.
“He was a lovely man, he was always very funny,” she said. “He only did the job because he cared about people, not to get medals, not to get special treatment or anything, he honestly did just really care.”
Sharing a personal anecdote, Nina said that after she was gravely injured in an on-duty car accident 10 years ago, Palmer was the first to rush to her aid. “He kept me alive until the ambulance got there,” she revealed.
MP James Cleverly – who emotionally paid tribute to Palmer during Thursday’s prime minister questions time on Thursday – told PEOPLE in a statement, “I was devastated to [have] found out that the officer who had lost his life was PC Keith Palmer. Keith served with me in the reserve forces and I had known him for almost 25 years.”
“He was a friendly, hardworking and highly professional soldier and police officer, he was also a husband and father. I must pay particular tribute to my fellow MP, Tobias Ellwood, who rushed to Keith’s aid and attempted to save his life with no regard for his own safety.”
Scotland Yard said Palmer’s shoulder number will be retired in tribute.
Aysha Frade, 43, was struck while crossing Westminster Bridge on her way to collect her daughters, ages 8 and 11, from school.
Frade, whose family is originally from Spain, worked as head of the Spanish department in the nearby DLD College London. DLD College principal Rachel Borland mourned her death in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened at the news that of the victims yesterday was a member of our staff, Aysha Frade.”
Borland further called Frade a “highly regarded and loved” member of the staff.
Frade’s former neighbor Patricia Scotland told the BBC that Frade was a “lovely mother, a lovely wife,” adding, “You couldn’t ask for better neighbors.”
Kurt Cochran, a Utah resident, was also struck on Westminster Bridge while touring the country on a 25th anniversary trip with his wife, Melissa, his brother-in-law Clint Payne said in a statement.
Melissa, Payne’s sister, “received serious injuries” and has been hospitalized, he said.
The couple had traveled to Europe to visit Melissa’s parents, who are working as missionaries in the London Latter-Day Saints temple, and were planning to return home on Thursday.
“Kurt was a good man and a loving husband,” Payne said. “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.”
Relatives told Utah’s Fox 13 Salt Lake City that the trip was a “dream vacation” for Kurt and Melissa, and said that the pair had also visited Germany and Austria during the vacation.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for the couple by Payne, the couple operated a recording studio business for 10 years.
In tribute, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, “A great American, Kurt Cochran, was killed in the London terror attack. My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.”
Police said late Thursday a 75-year-old man who was injured in the attack died as a result of his wounds. On Friday, the fourth victim was identified as Leslie Rhodes, a retired window cleaner from Streatham, South London, according to the Associated Press.
Rhodes suffered many broken bones after being hit by the attacker’s SUV, and went into a coma at King’s College Hospital from which he never recovered.
“He had no one. You can’t have someone dying on their own,” said Rhodes’ neighbor Michael Carney to the Britain’s Press Association. “What harm did he ever do to anyone? He was the nicest man you ever met,” Carney, who knew the victim for 40 years, continued, adding that he and his family stayed at Rhodes’ hospital bedside until he died.