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London Attack: Utah Dad Kurt Cochran's Family Say They Bear No Ill Feelings

"His whole life was an example of focusing on the positive … Not living life in the negative. And that’s what we choose to do also."
Image: Kurt Cochran
American Kurt Cochran poses with Melissa Payne CochranFamily photo

LONDON — Relatives of the American killed in the attack on the U.K. Parliament said Monday that they bear no ill will toward the terrorist.

Instead, the family of Utah resident Kurt Cochran have been buoyed by the love and support they have received from all over the world. His wife, Melissa, was seriously injured in Wednesday's incident on London's Westminster Bridge and outside the House of Commons.

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"Kurt would not bear ill feelings towards anyone and we can draw strength as a family from that," Clint Payne, Cochran's brother-in-law, said during a press conference on Monday. "His whole life was an example of focusing on the positive ... Not living life in the negative. And that's what we choose to do also."

He added: "We miss him terribly. He loved everyone and tried to make the world a better place."

The killer's mother, meanwhile, said she wept for his victims and condemned what he did.

"I am so deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions my son has taken that have killed and injured innocent people in Westminster," Janet Ajao, mother of Khalid Masood, said in a statement. "Since discovering that it was my son that was responsible I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident."

Ajao added: "I wish to make it absolutely clear, so there can be no doubt, I do not condone his actions nor support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity."

Cochran's family said Melissa Cochran is recovering from injuries — a cut on her head, a broken rib and a badly injured leg. Payne said that Melissa is "steadily improving."

"The world would have never known what kind of person he was. And how magical and larger-than-life he really was"

Her sister, Shantell Payne, said Melissa was "very emotionally sad, obviously."

She added: "Right now, she is trying to focus on healing herself."

Shantell Payne said no relatives had asked Melissa any specific questions about what happened during the terror attack, but that they were just trying to give her "positive vibes."

The terror attack, which police say lasted just 82 seconds, left four people dead and dozens injured.

Police believe Masood acted alone.

The Cochrans were on a European tour to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They had never previously left the U.S.

They had already visited Holland, Germany, Ireland and Scotland when a rented 4x4 plowed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

They were actively sharing their journey on social media with comments like "Fun in Scotland" to picture of a grinning father-of-two holding a beer captioned: "After a long day of sightseeing."

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London was meant to be the final stop on their tour. They were visiting Melissa's parents who are serving as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They had planned to return home to Salt Lake City on Thursday — the day after the attack.

Cochran, 54, was active in the local music scene. He and his wife ran a recording studio out of their home in West Bountiful, a small town north of the city.

Dimmon and Sandra Payne, the parents of Melissa Cochran.Stephen Lock / i-Images via ZUMA Press

Dimmon Payne, Cochran’s father-in-law who was doing missionary work in London, said that the family's faith had been strengthened by the attack and that the close-knit clan had been brought together to support Melissa.

Relatives added they were grateful that the incident gave them the opportunity to highlight what an "amazing man" Cochran was.

"The world would have never known what kind of person he was. And how magical and larger than life he really was," Shantell Payne said.

Muslim women gathered on Westminster Bridge and held hands in silence on Sunday in honor of the victims of the London terrorist attack.Neil Hall / Reuters