London terror hits home: Utah couple’s 25th anniversary trip ends in unimaginable horror

The horrific terrorist attack came closer to home when it was confirmed Thursday that it took the life of an American man and injured his wife.

The Utah couple were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and were in London celebrating their 25th anniversary, according to NBC Salt Lake City affiliate KSL 5 News.

Clip via KSL5

Kurt Cochran was one of the four victims killed in Wednesday’s attack, and his wife Melissa was among the many more who were injured, as confirmed Thursday by LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins.

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Kurt Cochran “is believed to have either jumped or been pushed over the edge of the Westminster Bridge onto steps beneath it where he fell to his death, and the Cochrans were believed to have been the first people hurt on the bridge, the Daily Mail reported.

Kurt Cochran played the guitar, and he and Melissa owned and managed a recording studio.

Clint Payne, Melissa Cochran’s brother, posted a statement from his family on his Facebook Page.

“Our family is heartbroken to learn of the death of our brother- and son-in-law, Kurt W. Cochran, who was a victim of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London. Kurt was a good man and a loving husband to our sister and daughter, Melissa. They were in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and were scheduled to return to the United States on Thursday,” Payne wrote.

“Melissa also received serious injuries in the attack, and is being cared for in the hospital. 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. Kurt will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy as our family mourns and as Melissa recovers from her injuries.”

This cover from the New York Post depicts a photo of Melissa immediately after the attack.

Earlier Thursday morning Payne posted a photo of the couple with a link to a GoFundMe page to help defray burial and hospitalization expenses..

The attack occurred on London’s Westminster Bridge, causing the nearby Parliament building to go into lockdown. The terrorist was eventually shot and killed.

Kurt and Melissa Cochran during happier times

Senator Orrin Hatch also offered his condolences to the Cochran family in a statement issued Thursday morning:

“I was devastated to hear that two Utahns, Kurt and Melissa Cochran, were victims in yesterday’s London attacks,” the Utah Republican said. “While Melissa is recovering, I was heartbroken to hear that Kurt has since passed away from his injuries. My office has reached out to the Cochran family to offer support. Elaine and I offer our most sincere condolences to the Cochrans and stand ready to help them in any way we can. Our prayers are with the victims, their family, friends, and loved ones.”

President Donald Trump offered his own condolences Thursday.

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The president’s eldest son, Donald Jr., took London’s first Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to task for claiming terrorism is a way of life in large cities.

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