Ignacio Echeverria, 39, of Spain, was one of eight victims of three Islamist terrorists who drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before they attacked people randomly with knives and machetes in nearby Borough Market June 3. Echeverria is pictured in an undated family photo in Madrid. (CNS photo/Echeverria family via Reuters)
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- The Spanish government paid tribute to a Catholic man stabbed to death as he used his skateboard to try to defend a woman from a knife-wielding terrorist in London.
Ignacio Echeverria, 39, native of Spain working in London for a year, was one of eight victims of three assailants who drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before they attacked people randomly with knives and machetes in nearby Borough Market the evening of June 3.
The Spaniard, a Catholic and the nephew of a deceased bishop, was returning from a skateboard park when he stumbled upon the atrocity and saw one of the terrorists repeatedly stabbing a woman.
Witnesses have reported that Echeverria used his skateboard as a weapon against the terrorist before he was fatally wounded himself.
The Spanish government said in a statement that Echeverria's relatives and friends "are not alone in their pain, and that, today, Spain is with them, sharing their feelings and desolation and joined with them in this terrible moment."
"The exemplary attitude shown by Ignacio Echeverria during the attacks is a demonstration of solidarity for all to see," said the statement posted June 7 on the government's official website.
"His bravery in defending a helpless person serves as a reminder of the need to remain united before the scourge of terrorism, facing up to those whose only language is one of violence and terror," it said.