Three people were killed and another three seriously injured after a lone attacker went on a rampage in a Reading park as people enjoyed the summer sunshine.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody. He was later re-arrested under the Terrorism Act.
Here’s how the attack unfolded:
Knifeman enters park
At around 6.45pm on Saturday 20 June, a man runs into Forbury Gardens in the centre of Reading armed with a knife.
He walks up to a group of people and “shouted some unintelligible words” before stabbing three of them in the neck and under the arms, a witness said.
The attacker then targets another group, knifing one of them in the back of the neck, before attacking two others.
Members of the public run to the aid of the victims.
The man is chased by an onlooker but manages to escape and runs out of the park.
Police 'rugby tackle' suspect
The first emergency 999 call to the police is made at 6.56pm to report the multiple stabbings.
Within five minutes, officers of Thames Valley Police track down the suspect nearby and arrest him on suspicion of murder.
A witness told Sky News they saw police officers “rugby tackle” the man to the ground.
Air ambulances landed on nearby Kings Meadow to take three people with serious knife injuries to hospital.
The park is flooded with police vehicles and cordoned off by officers.
Large parts of Reading town centre are also taped off by police and a murder investigation is launched.
Social media plea
Shortly before 10pm, police urge people not to share graphic footage of the aftermath of the attack on social media and give it to detectives instead.
Investigators say they are keeping an open mind as to the motive of the attack, but it could be linked to terrorism.
Police also say there is “no indication” the incident is linked to the Black Lives Matter protest that took place “peacefully” in Forbury Gardens earlier that day.
Police raid address
Several armed police officers are spotted after 11pm going into a block of flats off Basingstoke Road in Reading where the suspect, believed to be a Libyan refugee who had been granted asylum, was living.
Neighbours report hearing a “controlled explosion” inside a flat on the top floor of the building.
In the early hours of Sunday 21 June, Thames Valley Police confirm three people have died and another three are seriously injured.
The force confirms a 25-year-old man is under arrest on suspicion of murder.
Incident declared terror attack
The incident is declared a terror attack at 8.30am and the Metropolitan Police’s counter terrorism unit takes over the investigation.
Half an hour later, Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a meeting with security officials, police and senior ministers in Downing Street.
Just after noon, Met Police counter terrorism chief Neil Basu says there is nothing to suggest anyone else was involved in the attack and there is “no wider threat” to the public.
A short time later the suspect is named as 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah from Libya, although police have not confirmed this.
One of the three people taken to hospital is discharged on Sunday afternoon, while other two injured continue to be treated.
Thames Valley Police chief constable John Campbell gives a news conference near the scene and says there will continue to be a large police presence in Reading on Sunday and into next week.
He says 41 witnesses have come forward so far and encourages anyone else who saw what happened to do so too.
Boris Johnson condemns deadly attack
The prime minister condemns the attack as “appalling and sickening” and says “lessons will be learned”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says Reading and the nation are “united in grief”, thanks emergency workers and says there could be changes in the law in light of the stabbings.
First victim named
One of the victims of the Reading terror attack is named as secondary school teacher James Furlong.
Mr Furlong taught at The Holt School in Wokingham and was head of history, government and politics.
Source: Read Full Article