One of the two victims killed in the terror attack on London Bridge has been identified as 25-year-old Cambridge graduate Jack Merritt.
Merritt was working at Learning Together, a group that organized a conference at Fishmongers’ Hall when the now-deceased terrorist Usman Khan attacked.
The other woman who was killed has not yet been identified.
David Merritt, Jack’s father, confirmed on Twitter that one of the victims was his son.
“My son, Jack, who was killed in this attack, would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily,” wrote David, “R.I.P. Jack: you were a beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog,” reported The Sun.
Friends also started sharing tributes to Jack. One friend wrote on Twitter:
“David, I knew your son through Learning Together & I loved him to pieces—he was the sweetest, most caring and selfless individual I’ve ever met.
“The warmest heart, always with time for anyone. Completely irreplaceable—I will mourn his loss greatly and honor his memory xxxx”
The terrorist was confronted and tackled by heroic bystanders before being shot dead by police.
In 2012, police discovered a plot by his terrorist cell to bomb the London Stock Exchange and Khan was sentenced to 8 years.
Sentencing Judge Wilkie said in court at the time: “In my judgement these offenders would remain, even after a lengthy term of imprisonment, of such a significant risk that the public could not be adequately protected by their being managed on license in the community.”
However, Khan was released early. In 2013, his sentence was updated with a 16-year term that allowed him to be released without parole after eight years. He agreed to have his movements monitored and wear a tag.
“Clearly a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack,” said Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented on the incident, “It is important we get out of that habit and enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists.”
Johnson believes it was a mistake to let Khan get out of prison early.
The Prime Minister issued a statement and a video addressing the incident.
“I want to thank the emergency services and members of the public for their immense bravery in responding to this suspected terrorist attack at London Bridge. This is an appalling incident, and all my thoughts are with the victims and their families,” Johnson said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on this afternoon’s incident at London Bridge. pic.twitter.com/PGVtmcFh42
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 29, 2019