An Alice Springs man has paid tribute to the policeman killed during yesterday's horror Westminster attack months after the "genuinely nice bloke” posed for a picture with his family on a London trip.
Andrew Thorogood yesterday shared the image of his family with officer Keith Palmer at the gates of the Houses of Parliament, where he was on duty when he was stabbed to death on Wednesday.
Officer Palmer was one of five to die in the London terror attack when British-born Khalid Masood, 52, mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed the policeman outside Parliament before being shot dead himself.
Mr Palmer, 48, was a member of Britain's parliamentary and diplomatic protection forces for 15 years and a soldier in the Royal Artillery before that.
Accompanying the picture, Mr Thorogood shared a tribute to the officer on his Facebook page last night, saying the policeman was happy to chat and smile for a photo with them last October, despite so many people being "suspicious of everyone else these days".
“It sent a shiver down my spine when I realised Keith was the officer who was killed in the London terror attack," Mr Thorogood wrote.
“I spoke with Keith for quite a while and found him to be a genuinely nice bloke.
"He said he would love to visit Australia with his family one day. The girls suggested if he did make it to Australia, he should visit Alice Springs and we would show him how special a place it is.
“That will never happen now, all because he was doing his job and trying to keep people safe in the face of yet another crazy terror attack.
"Our thoughts are with his wife and family."
Mr Palmer's wife and five-year-old daughter shared their own tribute to the "wonderful dad and husband" in a statement on Thursday.
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"A loving son, brother and uncle. A long-time supporter of Charlton FC.
"Dedicated to his job and proud to be a police officer, brave and courageous. A friend to everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed. We love him so much," it read.
Honouring Palmer, British Prime Minister Theresa May said he was "a husband, a father... he was every inch a hero.
"His actions will never be forgotten."
Conservative MP James Cleverly tweeted he was "heartbroken", having known Palmer for 25 years. He said they served in the military together.
The Charlton Athletic Football Club said Mr Palmer was a long-time fan and "a familiar face" at its London stadium, The Valley.
As a tribute, the club placed one of its red-and-white scarves on his seat in the East Stand where he sat "for many years".
Hundreds of people gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening in a vigil to remember the victims of this week's attack near parliament.