Westminster attack: PC Keith Palmer stabbed to death despite body armour

Russell Hope, News Reporter

The police officer killed in the Westminster terror attack died from a single stab wound to the chest, despite wearing protective body armour.

An inquest into the deaths of the four victims of the attack has heard how PC Keith Palmer, 48, was killed by Khalid Masood outside Parliament last Wednesday.

Scotland Yard has confirmed the father-of-two was wearing one of the stab vests routinely issued to Metropolitan Police officers, but it was not enough to save him and he died at the scene.

Masood, a 52-year-old Muslim convert who had been living in Birmingham, was shot dead by armed police after an 82-second rampage in which he twice drove on to the pavement of Westminster Bridge in a rented 4x4, in a deliberate attempt to target pedestrians.

The inquest also heard details of the other victims of the attack, including US tourist Kurt Cochran, who suffered multiple injuries after being hit by the car.

His wife Melissa suffered a broken leg and rib and cuts to her head.

Mum-of-two Aysha Frade, 44, also died on the bridge, suffering head and chest injuries, while Leslie Rhodes, 75, from Clapham, also received head injuries.

He was pronounced dead at London's King's College Hospital the following day.

The inquest, which was opened at Westminster Coroner's Court on Wednesday by senior coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox, came as Commons Speaker John Bercow told MPs there will be two reviews into security at Parliament following the attack.

An independent review will look into how the perimeter fence surrounding the Parliamentary estate is secured, while a second externally led review will assess how Parliament responds to major incidents.


Mr Bercow offered tributes to the bravery of PC Palmer, while officers held a minute's silence outside New Scotland Yard a week after the attack.

Acting Met Police Commissioner Craig Mackey said: "This afternoon is about remembering the victims of last week's events.


"Our thoughts, our prayers, go out to everyone who was affected by the events last week.

"I would urge you, if you get time, to go on to the bridge, talk to Londoners, talk and get a feel for this great city and how it's come together in responding to these events."


Prince William paid tribute to PC Palmer as he laid a wreath in his honour at the National Memorial Arboretum, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

A hand-written note read: "For PC Keith Palmer and all those who have served our community so valiantly; your legacy is our way of life. William."

The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge will join families of the victims of the terror attack next Wednesday at Westminster Abbey for a 'Service of Hope'.

Ten people arrested in connection with the attack have now been released with no further action to be taken.

One man, a 30-year-old arrested in Birmingham, remains in custody, while a 32-year-old woman arrested in Manchester has been released on bail.

Officers have carried out searches at 17 addresses across London, Brighton, Surrey, Carmarthenshire, Birmingham and Manchester.

They have said 16 of these have now concluded, with one ongoing at an address in Birmingham.

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