A Utah man who was the lone American fatality in the terror attack on London was on a dream vacation throughout Europe with his wife.
Kurt Cochran was on a wedding anniversary tour with his wife, who was also injured in the attack, when a terrorist struck Westminster Bridge and the UK Parliament complex.
Melissa Cochran’s parents are also in London, where they are serving as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionaries.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Cochrans Owned a Home Recording Studio in Utah
Melissa’s Facebook page says the couple owned Onion Street Studio. Her brother has established a GoFundMe site to help Melissa in the wake of the tragedy. The site says, “Melissa & Kurt are 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. Melissa needs funds to help cover her regular monthly expenses and loss of income.”
A friend wrote on Facebook, “My friends Melissa Payne Cochran and Kurt Cochran were the first two people injured in the London terror attacks. All I know right now is their injuries are critical. They own an amazing home studio in West Bountiful, Utah.”
The friend added, “They offered to let me come over and record. I never got around to it and I should have done it. Life is short and precious. Get well soon so I can come down and drop a few tracks. The recording you’ve been doing for Steve Hatch sound amazing! I’ve known Melissa for over 20 years. She used to work at my Dentist’s office. These are two hard working beautiful people. I hope the people that did this are brought to justice.”
2. Kurt Fell Off the Edge of Westminster Bridge During the Terrorist Attack
Kurt Cochran and his wife were on Westminster Bridge when the terrorist mowed people down with a car, according to Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
According to UK Daily Mail, Kurt Cochran “is believed to have either jumped or been pushed over the edge of the bridge onto steps beneath it,” and the Cochrans were the first people hurt on the bridge. Newspapers ran a photo of Melissa on their covers as a stranger comforted her while she lay bleeding on the sidewalk.
At least 40 people were injured (seven critically), and three other people, including the suspect, were killed in the attack. Among the victims was Keith Palmer, a police officer who was stabbed by the still unidentified terrorist. ISIS has claimed the terrorist was a “soldier” of the Islamic state.
Aysha Frade, a college worker, was named as the other victim, according to BBC.
3. Melissa Cochran Was Also Injured in the Attack
Melissa’s sister provided an update on her condition and Kurt’s death on Facebook. She wrote, “SO, SO SORRY to inform everyone – Kurt has passed away from the injuries he received during the attack in London. My sister, Melissa, has a broken leg, a broken rib, and a cut on her head. 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. Kurt, you are a HERO, and we will never forget you. 💔 💔”
Another relative wrote of the family’s heartwrenching loss: “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. Melissa Payne Cochran is in the hospital with a broken leg, rib and a cut on her head but will recover from her injuries. Sending all the love to her for a quick recovery.”
4. The Cochrans Had Traveled Throughout Europe in the Month of March for Their Anniversary
Melissa Cochran’s brother said in a statement that the couple as was “in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and were scheduled to return to the United States” March 23, the day after the attack.
Kurt Cochran’s Facebook page contains photos of the trip throughout Europe. A week before the London terror attack, Kurt Cochran posted photos from Germany.
“Trier Germany. Another WOW!” he wrote on March 15. One friend wrote on that post in what was then a joke, “I guess you’re never coming home then?”
Cochran also posted recent photos from Ireland and Scotland.
5. Friends Remembered Kurt for His Kindness & Intelligence
Tributes remembered Cochran as “one of the good ones.”
A friend wrote on Facebook, “I was absolutely stunned to learn just now that the American killed in the London terrorist attack was my close friend Kurt Cochran, who was one of my roommates in SLC when I lived there in the 80s and a person who I truly admired and respected. I never met his wife, who is recovering from the injuries she suffered during the attack…but I can only imagine what she’s going through. They were touring Europe…I was just checking out the pictures of Germany on his timeline the other day. And in an instant…he’s gone.”
People were shocked that a terrorist attack had taken the life of someone they knew. “We see reports about terrorist attacks almost every day…but I guarantee you…nothing will send a shiver down your spine like finding out someone you know or love was a victim,” the friend wrote. “And especially someone like Kurt who didn’t deserve to die this way. RIP brother. I’ll always remember you for your intelligence and kindness. You were one of the good ones.”