One of the four victims of the Westminster terror attack in London has been identified as an American citizen from Utah.
Kurt Cochran was an engineer and owner of his own music studio. He was 54 years old. USA Today reports Cochran was in London with his wife, who was injured in the attack. They were there celebrating their 25th anniversary. His wife Melissa is hospitalized with a broken leg and rib, in addition to head injuries. She is not believed to be in critical condition.
Cochran and his wife were on Westminster Bridge when a terrorist now identified as Khalid Masood. He purposely drove his car onto the sidewalk, striking pedestrians. It appears Cochran was either pushed or jumped from the bridge onto a staircase below. He later died from his injuries.
Cochran’s sister, Shantell Payne, confirmed his death in a Facebook post. “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.
“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. We love you Kurt. RIP.”
Mr Cochran described himself as a “self-starting business owner” and spoke frequently of his passion for music.
In a 2014 interview with a local newspaper about his business, he spoke about his background.
He said that he “grew up in Maryland, lived in Texas for a while, then ended up in Salt Lake City in 1983.”
Mr Cochran was also a big rock music fan, explaining: “As I grew older, hard rock/heavy metal took over as my favorite genres, like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Rush and Aerosmith.”
He also spoke of how his parents got him interested in music, telling the paper: “My parents were big into music and entertaining. Mom loved jazz and Dad loved country. Music was very prevalent in my early years.
“I have a sister who is 10 years older than I am, and I used to sneak into her room and listen to Hendrix, Cream and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young”.
The musician also played in a band with his friend. He explained: “One day, my best friend was goofing around on a Casio keyboard and I picked up my guitar, and we started jamming. At that moment, we started a band. We played for a few years, played a few gigs and then decided that instead of a half-assed band we would build a kick-ass studio.
“So we did. We kicked around many names and because the studio is located on historic Onion Street in West Bountiful, the name Onion Street Studio became the obvious choice.”
Other victims identified
Among the other victims identified so far are Keith Palmer, 48, a police officer with 15 years of service. Also killed in the attack was Aysha Frade, a British mother and schoolteacher.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said 12 Britons were taken to hospitals. The other victims include three French teenagers, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one American, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian and two Greeks.