Echeverría's relatives reveal he helped a police officer, not a woman

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy speaks to relatives of Ignacio Echeverría at the Madrid air base.
Prime minister Mariano Rajoy speaks to relatives of Ignacio Echeverría at the Madrid air base. / EFE
  • The Spaniard, who was hailed a hero for his role in the London Bridge attack, received a posthumous medal for civil merit when his body was brought back to Spain

The brother of Ignacio Echeverría, the Spanish lawyer killed in the London Bridge terrorist attack earlier this month, has revealed that the 39-year-old lawyer had intervened to aid a police officer and not a woman, as was previously reported.

Joaquín Echeverría told the news agency Efe on Tuesday that the family had changed the story when they still didn't know what had happened to Ignacio to protect him from "future retaliation".

"We were worried that, if he was alive, the jihadists would go to his house or his work to look for him," he added

His brother explained that Ignacio's friends had told them what happened the next morning while they were looking for him in hospitals around London.

"They saw from a distance that the terrorists were stabbing a woman, when a police officer with a truncheon overtook them and fell immediately," he said.

According to his friends, at the same time as the officer went towards the terrorists Ignacio Echeverría got off his bike to help the police officer.

"We think that Ignacio saw the officer run and went to help him arrest the three terrorists so that they wouldn't keep attacking," said Joaquín Echeverría. "He wasn't exactly helping the woman, but he was trying to stop the attack," he said.

Echeverría's body was flown back to Spain in a Spanish air force plane on Sunday. Prime minister Mariano Rajoy met the aircraft at the Madrid air base and awarded Ignacio with a posthumous Gran Cruz del Mérito Civil, a medal for civil merit.

He was buried in Las Rozas, Madrid, on Monday.