The family of the US tourist killed in the Westminster terror attack said he would not have borne any ill feelings towards the attacker.
Kurt and Melissa Cochran, from Utah, were on the final day of a trip to London to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when they were caught up in the carnage on Wednesday.
Clint Payne, Mr Cochran’s brother-in-law, said: ‘We know that Kurt wouldn’t bear ill feelings towards anyone and we can draw strength as a family from that.
‘His whole life was an example of focusing on the positive. Not pretending that negative things don’t exist but not living our life in the negative – that’s what we choose to do.’
Kurt and Melissa Cochran from Utah were among those run over by terrorist Khalid Masood. Kurt died while his wife was rushed to hospital with broken bones and a cut head
The family refused to be angry or bitter about the horrific circumstances of Mr Cochran’s death, saying they were determined to concentrate on the positives of his life. Pictured, left to right, family member Jason McFarland, Melissa Cochran’s sister Sara Payne-McFarland, relatives Jennifer Burton, Angela Stoll and Melissa’s parents Sandra Payne and Dimmon Payne
Payne, the father of Melissa Cochran, told how he found out she was hurt after reading about the attack online
Jennifer Burton, Kurt’s sister, fought back the tears as the family spoke about his death
Michael Payne and his wife Shantell, brother and sister in law of Melissa, said they were not concentrating on the horror of the accident, but of the loving response
The couple were mowed down on Westminster Bridge by a car driven by Khalid Masood, who killed four people in his rampage before being shot dead in the grounds of the Parliament.
Mr Cochran died, while his wife was left with a broken leg and rib and a cut head. At a press conference in London today, her family said she was recovering well.
Melissa was seen being looked after by a stranger on a blood-stained pavement in one of the most harrowing images of the aftermath of the attack.
Her father Dimmon said the family found out about the attack from pictures which appeared online shortly afterwards.
He said: ‘We did know there was a terrorist attack but at first we did not know out loved ones were involved.
‘It was was after the pictures were recognised. Our daughter-in law recognised the pictures and called us immediately and we got online and looked and we realised it was out loved ones. I think that’s how we found out.’
Shantell Payne, sister-in-law of Melissa, said: ‘Its awful, horrible and gut wrenching but like Clint said we are here to support her and were not going to concern ourselves with any of that at the moment.’
The family insisted Mr Cochrane would not have wanted them to concentrate on any negative reaction to his death.
The family of the couple gave an emotional press conference in London this morning at which they said Mr Cochran would not have borne any ill-will towards his attacker
Dimmon Payne and his wife Sandra, parents of Melissa, today. Reporters were told she is recovering well and will return to the US where she can be cared for by her family
Showing remarkable strength, the family held hands as they spoke to reporters and TV crews
Mr Cochran’s sister, Ms Burton, was comforted by Melissa’s mother during the conference
Melissa’s sister, Sara McFarland, said: ‘Last night we were speaking all about this and it was deeply unanimous that none of us harbour any ill will or harsh feelings towards this.
‘We love our brother and we love what he brought to the world and we feel like that this situation is going to bring many good things to the world. A lot of inspiration.’
Mr Payne added: ‘This has been a humbling and difficult experience but we have felt the love of so many people during these past several days.
‘It’s been a tender experience for our family to be together with Melissa here.
‘Her health is steadily improving and she has been strengthened by the presence of her family.
‘She is so grateful for the outpouring of love and generosity.’
Two members of the couple’s family clasp hands today as they spoke about Mr Cochran
More than 13 members of the family came together today to tell of their love for Mr Cochran
Mr Cochran, 54, was one of four victims of London’s terror attack last Wednesday. He had been in Europe with his wife Melissa celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary
The picture of Melissa Cochran lying on the pavement next to an overturned postcard stand was one of the most harrowing taken in the horrific aftermath of the London terrorist attack
Strangers consoled her after her husband was knocked from the parapet to the embankment
Flanked by 12 members of the couple’s family, Mr Payne thanked the paramedics, medical personnel and those who had helped them since the attack.
He said: ‘So many people have been so kind and we are deeply touched by their goodness and generosity.
‘Your notes, prayers, donations and love have helped us so much.
‘The most difficult part of all of this is that Kurt is no longer with us and we miss him terribly.
‘He was an amazing individual who loved everyone and tried to make the world a better place.’
The couple had been visiting Mrs Cochran’s parents, who were serving as missionaries in the London Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when they were caught up in the attack.
Their first time out of the US, they had arrived in the UK on March 3, travelling through Scotland and Ireland before visiting Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Khalid Masood stabbed PC Keith Palmer (right) in the attack on Wednesday afternoon
Mother-of-two Aysha Frade also died on the bridge after the terrorist drove into her
Flowers have filled Parliament Square as the public pays tributes to those who were killed
The day of the attack was the last of their trip and they had wanted to spend it sightseeing in London, their family said.
Mr Cochran was one of three people killed when Muslim convert Khalid Masood drove a hired 4×4 along the pavement of Westminster Bridge.
Aysha Frade, believed to be a 43-year-old married mother of two, also died, along with retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes.
Masood was shot dead by armed police after fatally knifing PC Keith Palmer in the Palace of Westminster’s cobbled forecourt.
‘So many people have been so kind’ Kurt Cochran’s family’s statement
As spokesman for the family said: ‘Thank you for coming this morning and most especially for your kindness and consideration of our family.
‘This has been a humbling and difficult experience, but we’ve felt the love of so many people during these past several days.
‘It has been a tender experience for our family to be together with Melissa here. Her health is steadily improving and she has been strengthened by the presence of her family.
Mr Cochran and his wife had run a recording studio from their Utah home for 10 years
‘She is so grateful for the outpouring of love and generosity. Our family is so grateful for the first responders, the medical personnel, the assistance of government agencies in the United States and Great Britain along with the generosity and assistance of Delta Airlines in arranging for our travel to and from London.
‘So many people have been so kind, and we are deeply touched by their goodness and generosity. Your notes, prayers, donations and love have helped us so much.
The couple were in London as part of a tour of Europe when they were struck
‘The most difficult part of all of this is that Kurt is no longer with us, and we miss him terribly. He was an amazing individual who loved everyone and tried to make the world a better place.
‘He left a legacy of generosity and service that continues to inspire us. We are deeply saddened to lose him but are grateful that the world is coming to know him and be inspired by him.
‘Thank you for your many stories that have touched our family and helped us remember and celebrate his life. Thank you.’