NEWS
20/06/2020 23:00 BST | Updated 21/06/2020 08:13 BST

Three People Killed In Reading Knife Attack

Police confirmed there was no suggestion the attack was linked to a peaceful protest that had taken place at Forbury Gardens earlier in the day.

PA
Police at Forbury Gardens in Reading town centre where they are responding to a suspected terror attack

Three people have been killed and another three are seriously injured after multiple stabbings in Reading town centre, police have confirmed.

Thames Valley Police said a 25-year-old man from Reading was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody.

The attack took place at around 7pm in Forbury Gardens, and is not currently being treated as terror-related. 

Detective chief superintendent Ian Hunter said: “We have made one arrest and at this stage we are not looking for any other people in connection with this incident.

“There is no intelligence to suggest that there is any further danger to the public, however we urge people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious by calling police.”

At least two casualties are being treated in the emergency department of the Royal Berkshire Hospital, a spokesperson told PA news agency.

 

Graphic footage shared on social media showed a bloodied scene as a person gave chest compressions to a victim on the ground. Thames Valley Police and the National Police Chiefs Council have urged people not to share pictures of video alleged to show the attack or aftermath.

 

Two air ambulances and several police vehicles responded to the attack, with images on social media showing a significant police presence.

Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “deeply concerned” by the reports emerging from the attack while business secretary and MP for Reading West Alok Sharma also took to social media to thank emergency services.

Sharma tweeted: “My thoughts are very much with all at @ThamesVP and others who are dealing with this incident and those who have been affected.”

One eyewitness, who said he was about 10 metres from the scene, said the attack looked “completely random”.

Lawrence Wort, 20, a personal trainer from Chippenham, told PA: “So the park was pretty full, a lot of people sat around drinking with friends when one lone person walked through, suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went around a large group of around 10, trying to stab them.

“He stabbed three of them, severely in the neck, and under the arms, and then turned and started running towards me, and we turned and started running.

“When he realised that he couldn’t catch us, he tried to stab another group sat down, he got one person in the back of the neck and then when he realised everyone was starting to run, he ran out the park.”

The leader of Reading Council Jason Brock tweeted: “Concerning reports from Reading town centre – please stay clear of the area as Police are dealing with a serious incident.”

Freelance journalist Claire Gould, 33, who lives near the scene, told PA she saw the emergency air ambulance vehicles land on the nearby Kings Meadow on Saturday evening as a police helicopter circled overhead.

She described hearing lots of sirens and said surrounding roads and a retail park had been cordoned off by officers.

Thames Valley Police said: “There is no indication that this incident is linked to the Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Reading today.”

One BLM organiser posted on Facebook that everyone who had been at the protest was safe, having left before the attack took place, according to Sky News.