American man celebrating 25th wedding anniversary killed in Lond - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

American man celebrating 25th wedding anniversary killed in London attack

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Kurt Cochran and Melissa Payne Cochran. Family photo Kurt Cochran and Melissa Payne Cochran. Family photo

BY JON SCHUPPE and CHELSEA DAMBERG, NBC News

(NBC News) - A Utah man celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary in London was among those killed in Wednesday's attack outside the U.K. Parliament, his family and church said.

Kurt Cochran and his wife, Melissa, had stopped in London during a tour of Europe and were planning to return home Thursday, a family spokesman said.

Melissa was seriously injured, the spokesman, Clint Payne, said in a statement distributed by the Church of Latter Day Saints.

"Our family is heartbroken," Payne said.

He added: "Kurt will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy as our family mourns and as Melissa recovers from her injuries."

President Donald Trump tweeted a tribute to Cochran, calling him a "great American."

Cochran was a fixture of the local music scene in Salt Lake City. With his wife, he ran a recording studio out of the basement of their home in West Bountiful, a small town north of the city.

"Kurt was a warm, loving guy, laid back," said Kurt Landenberger, whose band, Dealin' In Dirt, is recording an album at Cochran's Onion Street Studio. "He made it seem really easy. Nothing pretentious. He was just a real good, genuine guy."

Details of how Cochran and his wife were caught in Wednesday's carnage, in which two other victims died and 29 were injured, were not immediately clear. The attacker was identified Thursday as Khalid Masood.

The 52-year-old suspect plowed a rental vehicle into a crowd of people walking on Westminster Bridge before crashing into a railing outside the House of Commons. The alleged extremist then fatally stabbed a police officer before armed officers shot him dead.

The officer, Constable Keith Palmer, was a member of a unit that protects Parliament and other government buildings. The married father was a military veteran, officials said.

Also killed was a mother of two who was hit by a bus as she ran to safety. Aysha Frade, 43, was on her way to pick up her children from school.

The small Spanish town of Betanzos, where her family lives, declared three days of mourning.

Three French children on a school trip and two Romanian citizens were among those wounded.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in London said the American government would help any U.S. citizens affected by the attack.

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