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London Bridge terror victim named as Cambridge University worker
30 November 2019, 16:30 | Updated: 30 November 2019, 16:32
The first victim of yesterday’s terror attack on London Bridge has been named as Cambridge University worker Jack Merritt.
Mr Merritt was a course coordinator for Learning Together, the initiative which was holding a meeting at Fishmongers’ Hall when the attack started.
His father David tweeted tributes to Jack today describing him as a "beautiful spirit".
He wrote: "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. R.I.P. Jack: you were a beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog."
"Jack spoke so highly of all the people he worked with & he loved his job. Thank you for your support. I know his colleagues are in shock- please look after each other at this terrible time," his father wrote online.
Mr Merritt studied law at the University of Manchester before attending the University of Cambridge from 20176 to 2017, according to his Facebook page.
It emerged today that the London Bridge attacker was a convicted terrorist released half-way through a 16-year prison sentence for a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
Usman Khan, 28, killed a man and a woman in the knife rampage on Friday afternoon and injured three other people, who are being treated in hospital.
He was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag, and was attending the conference on prisoner rehabilitation organised by University of Cambridge-associated Learning Together at Fishmongers' Hall and reportedly "threatened to blow up" the building.
Armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, Khan was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders, before he was shot dead by police on London Bridge next to the Hall.
Video footage posted online shows Khan being tackled to the ground as one man sprays him with a fire extinguisher and another, reportedly a Polish chef named Luckasz who worked at the Hall, lunges towards him with a narwhal tusk believed to have been taken from the wall inside the Hall.
It is understood that Khan started "lashing out" in a downstairs room of the Hall but was grabbed by the conference-goers and bundled out of the front door as he tried to go upstairs.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh sent a message of sympathy to those killed and affected by the "terrible violence" and praised the "brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others".
And Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the scene on Saturday with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said Khan had been living in the Staffordshire area and that police were "not actively seeking anyone else" over the attack.