PC Keith Palmer, 48, has been named as the police officer killed in the attacks at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 22 March. He was one of the fatalities alongside three pedestrians and the assailant who ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.
Mark Rowley, the national lead for Counter Terrorism Policing and the Acting Deputy Commissioner confirmed 40 people were amongst the injured, some with serious injuries, including three police officers, two of whom remain in a serious condition. He however refused to confirm the identity of the attacker only saying he had been “inspired by international terrorism”.
He continued: “Today, in Westminster we saw tragic events unfold and our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones, who were injured, and all those affected by this attack.
“One of those who died today was a police officer – PC Keith Palmer – a member of our Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
“Keith – aged 48 – had 15 years’ service and was a husband and a father.
“He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift and he had every right to expect that would happen.
“I can also now confirm three members of the public also lost their lives in this attack. Specially trained family liaison officers will be deployed to support them.
“And I confirmed earlier, the suspected attacker was shot dead by an armed officer – therefore meaning we now have five people in total who have died.
“I will not comment at this stage on the identity of the attacker, but our working assumption that he was inspired by international terrorism.
“Also, at this stage, but it may change – we believe approximately 40 people were injured, some with serious injuries, including three police officers, two of whom are in a serious condition.
“Our investigation is continuing and is moving at a fast pace this evening – we will work through the night.
“We have hundreds of officers working on this investigation and they are focusing on the suspect’s motivation, preparation and associates.
“We are forensically examining a complicated crime scene that covers a wide area.
“As with all investigations of this nature it will take us some time to work through painstakingly all the evidence. Only then will the full picture be known.
“Officers are taking statements from the hundreds of people who were nearby as today’s attack unfolded.
“We are seizing CCTV and carrying out a fast-time examination of it.
“The lockdown on Parliament has been lifted and we are working hard to reduce the areas we have cordoned off.
“I’d like to thank the public and Parliamentarians for their continued patience as we carry out detailed forensic examinations in the areas.
“The UK threat level has been at ‘Severe’ for some time and this level will not change.
“We have enhanced the scale of the policing operation to protect our communities across the country.
“As we continue to investigate today’s horrific events we do want to reassure the public that police and partners are doing everything possible to protect them.
“As a precautionary measure over the next few days we have increased the number of officers on duty to provide a highly visible, reassurance presence – both armed and unarmed – across the country.
“This will continue for as long as is needed.
“Terrorists have a clear aim and that is to create discord, distrust and to create fear. The police stand with all communities in the UK and will take action against anyone who seeks to undermine society, especially where their crimes are motivated by hate.
“We must recognise now that our Muslim communities will feel anxious at this time given the past behaviour of the extreme right wing and we will continue to work with all community leaders in the coming days.”