Ex-classmates mourn local graduate killed in London attack

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Former classmates are reflecting on Midway High School graduate Kurt Cochran, who was killed in the London terrorist attack.

(Midway High School yearbook photo)

“He was always nice, always had a smile on his face,” said Sherry Rogers. “He wasn’t one of those jerk guys you always have in high school.”

Rogers graduated from Midway in 1980 with Cochran who was killed in the attack on March 22 while vacationing in Europe with his wife.

Rogers remembers Cochran for his smile and musical talents.

“He always had an adorable smile, and you could tell he was going to be a musician even back then,” she said.

A few years after graduation, Cochran left Central Texas for Salt Lake City, Utah to pursue his passion for music.

Rogers hadn’t spoken to Cochran since he left, but she said that didn’t matter.

"Ya know, it doesn't matter how close you were to someone, they were our family,” she said.

Cochran created a new family in Utah, marrying his wife Melissa and building a recording studio business from the ground up over the last decade.

The couple was visiting Melissa’s parents, who are Mormon missionaries in London, on the last day of their trip when the attack happened.

"You never think that's going to happen to anyone you know, and then all the sudden it like hits you in the gut,” said Rogers.

Cochran was one of four who died after Khalid Masood plowed through a crowd of people on the Westminster Bridge.

Melissa received serious injuries, but survived. Kurt fell over the side of the bridge onto a patch of concrete below, and was killed.

Rogers said the class of 1980, about 250 people, was a close one, and many of them were saddened when they heard one of their own was one of the victims.

“Something like that just seems unfathomable,” she said. “We were all very, very shocked."

In a statement to KWTX, Melissa Cochran’s brother, Clint Payne, said the family was heartbroken.

“Kurt was a good man and a loving husband to our sister and daughter, Melissa. They were in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and were scheduled to return to the United States on Thursday,” he said.

Payne said his sister was being cared for in a London hospital.

“We express our gratitude to the emergency and medical personnel who have cared for them and ask for your prayers on behalf of Melissa and our family. Kurt will be greatly missed,” he said.

Rogers had a message to their family from the Midway family.

“I can’t imagine what you’re going through, it makes me sad, makes me mad, prayers for you and we love you all,” she said.