Constable Keith Palmer was unarmed and at his normal post outside Parliament. Like many of his fellow officers in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Squad, he had become a friendly face to the politicians, journalists and tourists at Westminster.
On Wednesday, the 48-year-old father lay mortally wounded from a stab wound as rescuers tried desperately to save his life. His attacker left at least two other people dead and more than two dozen injured before being killed outside Parliament.
A wide variety of British politicians paid tribute to Palmer, a 15-year member of the police force. Sadiq Khan, London's mayor, said Palmer died while “protecting our city and our democracy from those who want to destroy our way of life.”
James Cleverly, a Conservative member of Parliament for Braintree, said on Twitter that he had known Palmer for 25 years, from serving in the British army together. “We served together in the Royal Artillery before he became a copper,” Cleverly wrote. “A lovely man, a friend. I'm heartbroken.”
Another MP, Tobias Ellwood, had tried to save Palmer as he lay on the ground after the attack. Ellwood, who had served as a captain in the Royal Green Jackets from 1991 to 1996 and previously lost his brother in a terrorist attack, gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and applied pressure to the wounds to stem Palmer's blood flow.
Colleagues of Palmer's have described him as a warm man. A woman who said she is a former police officer phoned London's LBC Radio to say that Palmer had once saved her from a car accident, adding that she “owed him everything.”
“He was a wonderful dad and a wonderful husband to his wife,” said the caller, who gave her name only as Nina. “He was fun, he was a laugh, he cared. I know ... when someone passes, [people] always say, 'He was such a lovely person,' but he actually really was.”
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Palmer's family said he would be "deeply missed" and that "we love him so much."
Two other people were killed in the attack.
The U.S. State Department initially declined to comment on reports that Americans were among the victims. However, it was later confirmed that a couple from Utah, Kurt Cochran and his wife, Melissa, had been on Westminster Bridge in London when the attack occurred.
In a Facebook post, Melissa's sister said that Kurt Cochran died of his injuries, while Melissa had several broken bones. “While we are glad she survived, our hearts are broken and will never be the same after losing our dear uncle, brother-in-law, father,” Melissa's sister wrote. “Kurt, you are a HERO, and we will never forget you.”
In a statement released through the Mormon Church, the Cochran family said the couple went to London to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and had been scheduled to return to the United States on Thursday.
“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,” the statement said. “Kurt will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy as our family mourns and as Melissa recovers from her injuries.”
President Trump also offered his praise for Kurt Cochran, dubbing him a "great American" in a message on Twitter. "My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends," the president added.
The other victim, Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old mother of two, was reportedly walking on Westminster Bridge on her way to pick up her children when she was hit by the attacker's Hyundai 4x4.
The Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported that Frade, a Londoner of Spanish heritage, worked at DLD College London, where she taught Spanish. DLD College released a statement confirming that Frade died in the attack. “All our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with her family,” Principal Rachel Borland said. “We will be offering every support we can to them as they try to come to terms with their devastating loss.”
Twenty-nine other people were reportedly injured in the attack, seven listed as critically injured, said British police. Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Theresa May said 12 Britons were among the injured. Three police officers were injured, two seriously. May noted that they had been returning from an event commending their bravery.
Westminster, the site of Parliament and the iconic Big Ben clock tower, is one of London's most popular spots with tourists, and many victims appeared to be visitors to London. May said Thursday that the victims included three French citizens, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian, one American and two Greeks.
French officials have said that three schoolchildren were injured in the attack as they crossed Westminster Bridge. The French newspaper Le Télégramme reported that the children were visiting from the Lycée Saint-Joseph in Brittany. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted that the students and their family and friends had the “full support” of the French state.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed that two Romanian citizens were injured in the attack. Dan Mihalache, Romania's ambassador to Britain, told Romanian media that a female victim was knocked into the River Thames from Westminster Bridge and was later recovered by rescuers and taken to a hospital, where she is in critical condition. A Romanian man who was also hurt suffered a broken leg, Mihalache said.
South Korea announced that five of its citizens were injured in the attack, and the country’s Foreign Ministry was moving to offer them support. The South Koreans, all in their 50s and 60s, were hurt during a stampede after the attack, the Foreign Ministry said.
Australian media reported that a German citizen who lives in Australia was injured by the attacker's vehicle on Westminster Bridge. The Chinese Embassy said in a statement Thursday said that a Chinese citizen was wounded in the assault but did not offer details.