American tourist Staci Martin was vacationing in London at the time of Wednesday’s terror attack near Parliament and happened to snap a picture with police officer Keith Palmer just minutes before he was killed.
The Florida mother said she was visiting the city for the first time during her spring break and stumbled upon an officer wearing a “funny hat.”
“I see his hat and I’m like, ‘I have to take a picture of him with his hat,'” she said. “We got in an Uber not even 15 seconds later, we turned to the corner and this guy came up to the window and was like, ‘there was a shooting, there was a shooting.'”
Palmer was one of five victims who lost their lives in the vicious car and knife attack. The attacker, U.K. native Khalid Masood, drove a car across Westminster Bridge, running over several pedestrians before crashing into a gate outside of Parliament. He then got out of the vehicle and stabbed Palmer with a knife before being shot and killed by other officers.
Martin saw Palmer’s photo on the news afterwards and was shocked.
“They put his picture up and I said, ‘I think that’s the guy,’ and my husband and daughter thought I was crazy,” she said. “We just couldn’t believe it.”
Martin believes her photo with Palmer is the last picture taken of him while he was still alive, and she’s working toward getting the photo to his family.
“I feel obligated to make sure they have that. They can cut me out of it, but I just want to make sure they have that of him,” she said. “You think if I had only been there a half an hour later in that exact spot. You can call it God or fate or whatever you want to call it, it’s a little bit surreal for sure.”