Police have now named all three victims killed in a horrific terror attack in the heart of Reading over the weekend.
James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails were all enjoying an evening in Forbury Gardens when, according to witnesses at the park, their attacker approached them and others, with what has been described as a 5-inch knife.
The attack, which happened on Saturday evening in Reading’s, Forbury Gardens has now been labelled as a terror attack, by Thames Valley Police.
The CEO of Reading Pride wrote a heartbreaking statement in which he called all three, James, Joe and David “True Gentlemen” and said that the Reading’s LGBT+ community would be in mourning.
Mr Cooper added that the three victims were a support network for others and that they would be “sorely missed by many”.
Mr Furlong, 36 was a teacher at The Holt School in Wokingham. He taught history and politics.
Mr Furlong’s parents, Gary and Janet released a statement following his death saying,
“James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun.
“He was the best son, brother, uncle and partner you could wish for. We are thankful for the memories he gave us all. We will never forget him and he will live in our hearts forever.”
Mr Ritchie-Bennett, 39 worked for a pharmaceutical company. He was originally from Philadelphia in the US. He had lived in the UK for 15 years.
Mr Wails was a senior scientist at a global chemicals company.
Appeal for information
Detectives from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) continue to appeal for anyone with information about the terrorist incident in Reading, to come forward.
A number of people sustained stab injuries during the incident which happened in Forbury Gardens just before 7pm on Saturday (20/6). And sadly, three people died as a result of their injuries.
A further three people who were taken to hospital with injuries following this incident, have now been discharged from hospital.
Police say that a 25-year-old man from Reading, was arrested in connection with this incident, by three police officers near to the scene. Detectives were today granted a warrant of further detention until Saturday 27 June, and the man remains in police custody.