This week, international news outlets confirmed that Spanish native Ignacio Echeverria was among the eight people killed last Saturday in the London Bridge terror attack.
Echeverria is believed to have saved a woman who was being attacked by ISIS terrorists by charging the men, using his skateboard as a weapon.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 7, 2017
The 39-year-old, who worked in London as part of HSBC’s anti-money laundering team, is remembered by his loved ones as righteous man who defended the weak.
“My brother Ignacio tried to stop the terrorists and lost his life trying to save others,” Echeverria’s sister Isabel said on social media Wednesday.
His brother Joaquin told the Spanish El Mundo newspaper that Echeverria, a Catholic, never missed a Sunday Mass. The Catholic Herald reported that a friend of Echeverria’s told another paper that he had belonged to a group of young Catholics who had met weekly in Madrid.
“When we were young, if he saw that someone was picking on a child in a bar, he came out in his defense,” the friend said.
“He was an indefatigable worker and he did not hesitate to confront the bosses if he wasn’t happy with something,” another friend, Rafael Duarte, shared. “He helped those who were marginalized.”
After Echeverria was confirmed as one of the eight fatalities in Saturday’s massacre, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy assured that he would be remembered for his “heroic and exemplary behavior,” the Associated Press reported. This week, ministers approved Rajoy’s request to award Echeverria the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit, the country’s highest civil award.
On Thursday, Echeverria’s hometown of Las Rozas held a vigil in his honor, the BBC reported. Thousands of people holding skateboards gathered to pay their respects to the “skateboard hero.”
Skateboarder Ignacio Echeverría gets one of the highest honours after he died trying to save others. https://t.co/f8QQ0eSllG
— Thus Spake (@thus_spake) June 9, 2017
— Fiona Govan (@fifimadrid) June 9, 2017
— The Spain Report (@thespainreport) June 8, 2017
A new skateboarding park will be named after Echeverria.