Manchester bombing victims: Loved ones identify all those who died in concert attack
Chants of 'Manchester! Manchester!' ring out as thousands gather for a multi-faith vigil in the city centre to remember the victims of the deadly suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State group. Video provided by AFP
MANCHESTER, England — One victim was just 8 years old. Others were teenagers. Some were middle-aged parents waiting to pick up their children from the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in northern England that was hit by a suicide bomber on Monday evening.
By Thursday, all of the 22 killed in the attack has been identified, their fates confirmed by families, friends and officials. Here are their stories:
The first victim to be named was a huge fan of singer Grande, with whom she once proudly posed for a picture she posted to social media.
The death of Callander, 18, was confirmed by Runshaw College, an educational institution in Leyland, a small town about 34 miles northwest of Manchester, that she was attending.
In 2015, Callander posted a picture of herself posing alongside Grande on Instagram.
Before Monday's show she sent a tweet to Grande: "So EXCITED TO SEE YOU TOMORROW."
Callander was in the second year of a three-year health and social care course at Runsaw. The London Evening Standard reported that she died in a hospital in Manchester with her mother by her side.
Saffie Rose Roussos
Roussos, the youngest victim to be named so far, was just 8 years old.
A teacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, about 40 miles north of Manchester, described her as a "beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word" in a statement issued through Lancashire County Council. "She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”
Students and teachers held a moment's silence and sang "Don't Stop Believin" to honor her Wednesday, said Chris Upton, head teacher at the school.
The girl was at the concert with her mother, Lisa, and her older sister, Ashlee, who are both reportedly being treated in hospital.
Online messages for Atkinson, 26, paid tribute to an “amazing young man," according to The Bolton News, a northwestern England newspaper that's part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.
Tracey Crolla said: "Thinking of all the Atkinsons at this very sad time. John Atkinson you turned into an amazing young man so kind and thoughtful you will be missed by everyone."
Rishi Shori, leader of the council in Bury, also in the Manchester area, said Atkinson's death is "incredibly tragic."
Charlotte Campbell had appealed on social media and on TV for help in finding her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, who was missing during the chaos.
Early Wednesday, her mother announced her death on Facebook. "RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far to[o] soon. Go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much," she wrote.
According to The Bolton News, Brian Duffy, the principal of Campbell's school, Tottington High in Bury, says the school is "absolutely devastated and heartbroken at the news" of her death.
Brewster, 32, was from Sheffield, a city about 40 miles east of Manchester. Her boyfriend, Ian Winslow, announced her death on Facebook. “Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together. My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated like we all are," he wrote.
Alison Howe and Lisa Lees
Howe, 45, and Lees, 47, two friends from Royton, a Manchester suburb, were killed as they waited to collect their daughters from the concert.
Late Tuesday, a relative of Howe wrote on Facebook: “They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howexx,” The Guardian reported.
Lee Hunter, Lees' brother, wrote in a Facebook post: “For those who don’t know, Lisa is gone but never, ever forgotten. I love you Lisa. I’ll miss you so much.”
Angelika and Marcin Klis
Poland's foreign minister said the Polish couple, 40 and 42, who lived 70 miles away in York, were killed as they waited for their two daughters from the concert. One of them, Alex, 20, had appealed on Facebook for help finding them.
"The parents came after the concert to collect their daughters and unfortunately we have information that they are dead. The children are safe," Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told Polish radio station RMF FM on Wednesday. "We are appealing to Poles living in Manchester to take extra care and follow the advice of local authorities," he said.
Hett, 29, from Stockport, a southern suburb of Manchester, went missing after he became separated from friends at the concert, according to The Guardian.
On Wednesday, his brother, Dan, tweeted: “They found my brother last night. We are heartbroken.”
Hett’s partner, Russell Hayward, also posted on social media, saying, “We got the news last night that our wonderful iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive. He left this world exactly how he lived, centre of attention. … I love you Martyn. I always will. X”.
Rumpus, the Manchester public relations company where Hett worked as a digital manager, paid tribute to him, saying he was a man who "loved life and celebrated it every day."
Hett had appeared on reality TV shows "Tattoo Fixers" and Come Dine with Me."
On Wednesday morning, Britain's Independent reported that Jones, 14, who lived in a village about 20 miles from Manchester, was among the dead.
One of her classmates was also "badly injured" in the blast, the principal of her school, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive, told the newspaper.
The principal, Dennis Oliver, told the Daily Express that "I have just done six assemblies to tell the pupils. Children are all over the place crying. We are all devastated. The heart wrenches for me and everyone else.”
Tweddle-Taylor, 50, a school receptionist from Blackpool, which lies northwest of Manchester, had gone to the venue with a friend to pick up the friend's daughters, according to the Metro news website.
Her partner, Mark Taylor, told the BBC that the mother of three girls was "a very lovely lady, liked by everybody." He said Tweddle-Taylor’s friend survived along with her children.
Jane Bailey, principal of South Shore Academy, described Tweddle-Taylor as a "truly wonderful friend and colleague."
Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry
The families of teenage couple Chloe, 17, and Liam, 19, described them as "meant to be" in a statement released by police.
"On the night our daughter Chloe died and our son Liam died, their wings were ready but our hearts were not," the statement said. "They were perfect in every way for each other and meant to be.
"They were beautiful inside and out to ourselves and our families, and they were inseparable.They lived to go to new places together and explore different cities. They wanted to be together forever and now they are."
The death of Michelle Kiss, 45, a mother-of three from Lancashire, was confirmed by her family. She was attending the concert with her daughter, the Mirror reported.
"Michelle Kiss was a loving wife to Tony, mother to Dylan, Elliot and Millie, as well as daughter to Mick and Christine and sister to Nichola," the family said in a statement issued through police.
"Family was her life and we are all obviously devastated by her loss. She has been taken away from us, and all that love her, in the most traumatic way imaginable."
McIver, 43, was attending the concert off-duty from her job as a police officer in Cheshire, a neighboring county. Her partner Paul was seriously wounded in the attack. Her children were also injured, the Telegraph reported.
"Elaine was a much loved daughter, sister, Auntie, friend and colleague, the best we could ever have wished for," her family said in a statement.
"She was everyone's friend, thoughtful beyond belief with an effervescent and outgoing personality. She would have been devastated by the injuries sustained by her partner Paul, and we all wish him a speedy recovery."
Fawell, 50, from Otley, about 50 miles away, worked at a primary school. She traveled to the concert with her friend who was seriously injured, and their children. Her daughter Charlotte, 15, was taken to a hospital.
"We're all devastated. Mum was a wonderful woman. She'll be sadly missed," said her son Adam Fawell in a statement carried by the BBC. "I would like to add how much it means to us what everybody at home and in Manchester have done to support us at this time."
Scores of people attended a vigil for Wendy in Otley on Tuesday.
MacLeod, 14, from Barra, an island in the Outer Hebrides off Scotland, went to the show to celebrate her birthday with her friend, Laura MacIntyre, 15, who was injured.
"Words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh," her family said in a statement.
"Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band. As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time."
Sorrell, 14, from Leeds, a city about 40 miles northeast of Manchester, was at the concert with her mother and grandmother. Her grandfather Michael Healey said his wife Pauline was in intensive care and Sorrell's mother Samantha was recovering from surgery " as she tries to make sense of the devastating loss of her daughter."
"Sorrell was only 14, but she was our rock, she kept us all grounded. She was such a clever, talented, creative girl, there was nothing she couldn't do," Healey said in a statement. "She was going to be an architect and wanted to go to Columbia University in New York to study so that she could build hotels with slides coming out of the rooms and so that she could build her mum a house."
Courtney Boyle and Philip Tron
Courtney Boyle, 19, a university student, and her stepfather Philip Tron, 32, were from Gateshead, about 140 miles northeast of Manchester.
Boyle's mother, Deborah Hutchinson, said in a statement: "My stunning amazing beautiful daughter, you were my rock you made me so proud with all you had achieved. My gorgeous, crazy, Philip, you made my world a happy place and now you are both my angels flying high in the sky."
Rob Boyle, Boyle's father, said: "I am going to miss my baby girl Courtney Boyle for the rest of my life. I will never forget you and I will love you forever. Grandad Bob misses you loads also."
Tron's family paid tribute to a "most amazing son, partner, brother, father, uncle, nephew and cousin."
"Philip was such a fun loving, energetic soul, he would light up the darkest room and lift your spirits with his infectious laugh, witty sense of humour and his beautiful smile," they said in a statement. "Words cannot express the huge void his passing has left in all our lives."
Megan, 15, was from Liverpool, about 31 miles away. Her brother was seriously injured in the attack, the Guardian reported. A woman named Helen McDermott set up a fundraising page to raise about $3,900 to "help fund a beautiful send off for Megan who was taken far too early." Donating to the page, Steven French wrote: "Megan lived in our road & played with our daughter Leah as kids. Megan was a lovely, gentle little girl."