A recent University of Cambridge graduate has been named as the second victim killed in the London Bridge stabbing that left three others injured and the jihadist assailant shot dead by police.
Saskia Jones, 23, was killed along with a fellow University of Cambridge graduate, 25-year-old Jack Merritt, whose death had already been reported by his family following the Friday attack, Metropolitan Police said Sunday in a news release.
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“Saskia was a funny, kind, positive influence at the center of many people’s lives,” her family said. “She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people.”
Jones’ family described her as having “a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment program.” The family said she wanted to specialize in victim support.
Merritt’s family said of their son in Sunday’s news release that he “lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.”
They said Merritt “died doing what he loved, surrounded by people he loved and who loved him.”
Jones and Merritt were both involved in the Learning Together program. They were attending an event designed to bring graduate students and prisoners together to study criminology in an effort to reduce stigma and marginalization experienced by many inmates.
The event was meant to celebrate the program’s fifth year, but was “instead disrupted by an unspeakable criminal act,” university Vice Chancellor Stephen Toope told The Associated Press.
Three others, who have not been named, were wounded in the attack. One of the wounded was identified as a university staff member. Police said one of the three has returned home while the other two remained in stable condition at a hospital.
The attacker, convicted terrorist Usman Khan who secured an early release from prison, was apparently attending the event and had returned for the afternoon session when he began his stabbing rampage.
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He was shot dead by police after he was restrained by civilians, including a chef who fought off the attacker with an ornamental 5-foot narwhal tusk and another who brandished a fire extinguisher.
Following the attack, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that the early release of Khan was a “mistake.”
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Johnson told the BBC on Sunday that 74 convicted terrorists released early from prison in the United Kingdom will have their license conditions reviewed.
Fox News’ Robert Gearty and David Aaro and The Associated Press contributed to this report.