PC Keith Palmer was brutally stabbed to death by terror killer Khalid Masood in a frenzied attack outside the Houses of Parliament.
The hero cop was murdered as he defended the Palace of Westminster from the sick fanatic on March 22, 2017 . But who was the man who so bravely gave his life to protect the heart of British democracy?
PA:Press Association Hero cop Keith Palmer was stabbed to death in the line of duty outside Parliament
Who was PC Keith Palmer?
PC Keith Palmer was a member of the Metropolitan Police’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection command.
He had been on the force for 15 years and joined after leaving the army, having served as a member of the Royal Artillery.
PC Palmer was also described as a loving a husband and 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”, top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley said.
PC Palmer was unarmed when Masood – who was wielding two large knives – came charging towards him having mowing down pedestrians in his car on Westminster Bridge.
Four other innocents also died in the attack after being hit by the knifeman’s death motor. The attacker was shot by police and later died in hospital.
Paramedics fought to save Mr Palmer’s life, and that of his attacker, on the floor of the cobbled courtyard in front of Parliament.
Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood was among those who rushed to help.
Mr Ellwood, who lost his brother in the Bali bombing, could be seen pumping the officer’s chest then standing above him.
PA:Press Association Paramedics and MP Tobias Ellwood frantically tried to save his life but the brave policeman tragically died
Why was PC Palmer unarmed?
PC Palmer was unarmed when his knife-wielding attacker struck.
Explaining why he didn’t have a gun despite being charged with guarding Parliament, Mark Rowely, said: “Our parliamentary protection team are a combination of armed and unarmed officers doing different roles, and sadly the officer who lost his life today was unarmed.
“He was supported by armed colleagues who shot and killed the attacker.
“[The attacker] tried to enter Parliament and was stopped at the gate.”
Who paid tribute to the fallen hero?
People have paid tribute to the hero cop, including heartbroken friend and MP James Cleverly.
He said on Twitter: “I’ve known Keith for 25 years. We served together in the Royal Artillery before he became a copper.
“A lovely man, a friend. I’m heartbroken.”
I’ve known Keith for 25 years. We served together in the Royal Artillery before he became a copper. A lovely man, a friend. I’m heartbroken. https://t.co/LgF4rQ7Vmg
— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) March 22, 2017
Thank you PC Keith Palmer – to your bravery many others owe their lives and safety https://t.co/gTMLdsqN34
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) March 22, 2017
#RIP PC Keith Palmer, brutally murdered today carrying out his duty helping to protect Parliament and the freedom of our Country.
— CC Ian Hopkins (@CCIanHopkins) March 22, 2017
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins said: “#RIP PC Keith Palmer, brutally murdered today carrying out his duty helping to protect Parliament and the freedom of our Country.”
The Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents officers from the force, said: “PC Keith Palmer. Our brave Met #Police colleague who today made the ultimate sacrifice #LestWeForget”.
Home Affairs Select Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper, who was in the Palace of Westminster when the terrorist burst through the gates, said: “Thank you PC Keith Palmer – to your bravery many others owe their lives and safety”.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner was also caught up in the lockdown and posted a picture of armed police moving through Parliament.
He tweeted: “Going to bed alive, safe and well thanks to PC Keith Palmer. God bless him, his family and all those killed or injured. Terror will not win.”
Charlton Athletic also paid tribute to Keith, who was a season ticket holder at the club, by draping a scarf over his seat.
Players were also seen lining up and taking part in a minute silence.