Louis Ashworth

Content Note: This article contains detailed discussion of terror-related death and violence

The second victim killed in Friday’s attack on London Bridge was a former Cambridge student, vice-chancellor Stephen Toope confirmed in a statement today. Among the three others who sustained injuries in the attack, one was a member of university staff.

Their identities have not yet been shared by the Metropolitan Police.

The first victim, Jack Merritt, who was confirmed on Saturday to have died in the attack, was also a former Cambridge student, having graduated with an MPhil in Criminology from Hughes Hall. Confirming his death, his father, David Merritt, wrote on Twitter: “Cambridge has lost a proud son and a champion for underdogs everywhere, but especially those dealt a losing hand by life, who ended up in the prison system.”

Tributes for Merritt have begun pouring in since he was named as one of the two victims. On Monday, a minute of silence will be held outside the Guildhall in Cambridge at 11am, which the public is welcomed to join, to honour the victims and others affected by the attack.

Toope wrote, “Our University condemns this abhorrent and senseless act of terror. Our condolences, our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. We will be providing all the support we can to our colleagues, including counselling for staff and students who are affected by the event.

“We are grateful to the Metropolitan Police, to local emergency services, and to those members of the public – including students, staff, alumni and other participants at the event – who selflessly intervened to contain the incident.”

Two people remain in hospital, and one has been discharged. The condition of one victim, who was critically injured, has improved, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said.

The attack which killed Merritt and one other person took place outside of the Fishmongers’ Hall, where an event for the five-year anniversary of a Cambridge prison rehabilitation programme, Learning Together, was taking place. Merritt was a course coordinator for the programme, which seeks to “bring together people in criminal justice and higher education institutions to study alongside each other in inclusive and transformative learning communities.”

His father has said, “my son would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily.”

In his statement, Toope also wrote: “What should have been a joyous opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this unique and socially transformative programme, hosted by our Institute of Criminology, was instead disrupted by an unspeakable criminal act.”

If you have been affected by the content of this article, the following links offer support and resources: the NHS guide to bereavementCruse bereavement care local support servicesThe Samaritans 24-hour helpline.

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