Police identify London Bridge stabbing victims

Police have identified the two people who were fatally stabbed in a terror attack at the London Bridge on Friday afternoon.

In a statement by the Metropolitan Police Service on Sunday, officials identified the two victims as Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire and Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

Merritt and Jones were both graduates of the University of Cambridge and were involved in the Learning Together program, where Merritt was a coordinator and Jones was a volunteer.

Image: Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were killed in a terrorist attack near London Bridge on Nov. 29, 2019.
Image: Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were killed in a terrorist attack near London Bridge on Nov. 29, 2019.

Merritt and Jones were fatally wounded when suspect Usman Khan, 28, who had previously been convicted of terrorism offenses, carried out the deadly stabbing attack on London Bridge a year after his release from prison.

Khan stabbed several people and brandish what turned out to be a fake suicide vest before he was shot dead by officers after members of the public intervened.

In a statement from his family, Merritt was described as a talented person who "died doing what he loved, surrounded by people he loved and who loved him."

The family also said Merritt would not want his death to be used by the government as an excuse to extend prison detentions.

"We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary," the family's statement read.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already called for the reversal of a law that allows serious offenders to be released from prison early and sought to blame the opposition Labour Party for the policy, in an op-ed article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized the government, currently controlled by the Conservative party, which has been in power since 2010.

"There's got to be a very full investigation," he said, though he declined to join Johnson's sweeping call for longer prison terms.

Merritt's family said he had planned to build a future with his girlfriend, Leanne, and had worked toward a career helping people in the criminal justice system.

Jones' family described her as a "funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people's lives."

"She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people," the family's statement reads.

Jones also worked to provide "support to the victims of criminal justice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment programme, wishing to specialise in victim support," the family said.

Both families asked for privacy as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.

The Metropolitan Police also updated the status of the surviving victims. One of the three further people injured in the London Bridge incident has now been able to return home, according to police. Two people remain in a stable condition and continue to receive expert care in hospital, officials said.