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Reading Terror Attack: American Man Named as Second Victim

© REUTERS / PETER NICHOLLSA view shows a floral tribute to the victims at the scene of multiple stabbings in Reading, Britain, June 21, 2020.
A view shows a floral tribute to the victims at the scene of multiple stabbings in Reading, Britain, June 21, 2020. - Sputnik International
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Three people were killed and several others were seriously injured in a stabbing attack in Reading on Saturday evening. Police are treating the incident as a “terrorist attack”. Two of the victims have now been named.

The second victim of the Reading terror attack has been named as a 39-year-old American man who had been living in the UK for 15 years.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett was one of three people killed in a stabbing attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading on Saturday.

Mr. Ritchie-Bennett grew up in Philadelphia but had lived in the UK for 15 years and worked at a pharmaceutical company in Berkshire town.

His father Robert Ritchie, who still lives in Philadelphia told CBS News: “The family is heartbroken they have lost their brilliant and loving son. This was senseless.”

His older brother, also called Robert, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the family is “heartbroken and beside ourselves.”

US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson confirmed that Ritchie-Bennett was an American citizen and offered his sympathies to his loved ones.

He tweeted: "I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the attack on 20 June. To our great sorrow, this includes an American citizen.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected. We condemn the attack absolutely and have offered our assistance to British law enforcement."

Secondary school teacher James Furlong was the first victim to be named on Sunday.

The 36-year-old was the head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham, and is believed to have been a friend of Richie-Bennett’s, according to Sky News.

Tributes have poured in for the popular teacher from staff and parents at the school.

Anne Kennedy and Katie Pearce, co-heads at his school said, "He truly inspired everyone he taught.”

Keith Power, a parent of one of Furlong’s students said his family were ‘distraught’ after they received the news.

A 25-year-old Libyan national, Khairi Saadallah has been arrested under the Terrorism Act. Saadallah was known to M15 and police are continuing to question him. Two minutes silence was held in Reading this morning to remember the three victims who lost their lives on Saturday.

Speaking at the scene of the attack, Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was important to “learn the lessons” of the attack. 

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