2020 Forbury Gardens stabbings

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2020 Forbury Gardens stabbings
Part of terrorism in the United Kingdom
Forbury Gardens, Reading.jpg
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LocationForbury Gardens, Reading, United Kingdom
Date20 June 2020
~19:00 (BST (UTC+1))
Attack type
Mass stabbing
WeaponsKnife
Deaths3
Injured3
Accused25-year-old man

On 20 June 2020 at around 19:00 BST, a man with a knife attacked people in Forbury Gardens, Reading, United Kingdom. Three people subsequently died from their wounds and three others were seriously injured. A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. As of 21 June 2020, the attack is being treated as a terrorist incident.

Incident[edit source | edit]

On 20 June 2020 at around 19:00 BST, officers from Thames Valley Police were called to Forbury Gardens, a public park in the centre of Reading, Berkshire, England, 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of London.[1] Police responded to reports of a stabbing with multiple casualties.[2] A witness said the stabbing was "completely random", describing a lone person who shouted "unintelligible words" and attacked two different groups of people with a weapon.[3][4]

Suspect[edit source | edit]

A suspect with a knife was chased, tackled, and pinned to the ground by police officers.[5][6] The 25-year-old man was arrested, on suspicion of murder.[7][8][9] Both the BBC and The Independent reported that security sources had said that the man arrested was believed to be Libyan, although no official confirmation of this has been issued by the police service.[7][6]

Casualties[edit source | edit]

Three fatalities and three seriously injured have been confirmed.[10] Two air ambulances were deployed to the scene,[11] and South Central Ambulance Service confirmed on Twitter that they had deployed their Hazardous Area Response Team.[12] A number of people were hospitalised.[8] A spokesperson for the Royal Berkshire Hospital confirmed that two victims of the attack were being treated in their emergency department.[13]

Reactions[edit source | edit]

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer both expressed their concern over the incident.[3][14] Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his condolences and thanked emergency services for responding to the scene,[3] as did the leader of Reading Borough Council,[15] who had earlier described the situation as a "major incident".[16]

Reading Borough Council issued a statement the day after, on 21 June, saying "The Council’s thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three people who lost their lives, and for those who remain seriously injured", and announcing that the Council's flag would fly at half mast for the day.[17] Counter terrorism officers were called for the investigation, although police initially stated the incident was "not currently being treated as a terrorism incident" and that they were "keeping an open mind as to the motivation".[18]

On the morning of 21 June, the Prime Minister met with senior ministers, police and security officials at 10 Downing Street to be briefed on the events.[19] Later that morning, Counter Terrorism Policing South East stated that the attacks were "a terror incident".[19][20]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Three killed in stabbing at UK park; police say motive unclear". Malta Independent. 21 June 2020.
  2. "Police release full statement amid major incident in town". Reading Chronicle. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wright, Mike; Bird, Steve; Hardy, Jack (20 June 2020). "Reading stabbings: Man arrested after three killed in Forbury Gardens attack". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  4. Stubley, Peter (20 June 2020). "Reading stabbing: At least two people stabbed in 'serious incident' in town centre". Independent. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  5. Kitching, Chris; Shadwell, Talia; King, Lorraine (21 June 2020). "Hospital patient in Reading told by 'shaken' nurse that 3 died in knife attack". Mirror Online.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Three dead as police investigate terror motive in Reading attack". Independent. 21 June 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Three people dead after multiple stabbings in park". BBC News. 21 June 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Connett, David; Otte, Jedidajah (20 June 2020). "Reading stabbing: three dead as UK police investigate possible terrorism link". The Guardian. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  9. "Murder investigation launched – Reading". Thames Valley Police. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  10. "Reading park stabbings: What we know so far". BBC News. 21 June 2020.
  11. Ward, EJ (20 June 2020). "Forbury Gardens: 'Several dead' after mass stabbing incident in Reading". LBC News. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  12. South Central Ambulance Service [@SCAS999] (21 June 2020). "our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), the helicopter and critical care response unit from Thames Valley Air Ambulance and the critical care unit from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, two ambulance doctors and our colleagues from London Ambulance Service" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. Hornall, Thomas; Astle, Mary-ann (20 June 2020). "Multiple stabbings as police deal with 'major incident' in Reading park". Stoke Sentinel Live. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  14. "Three dead in stabbing attack in English town of Reading: report". Reuters. 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  15. Cllr Jason Brock [@JN_Brock] (20 June 2020). "My thoughts are with all those injured tonight. The Police and emergency services responding have my gratitude and full support and I'd ask everyone in our town to continue to keep clear and let them carry out their work" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. "Reading stabbings: At least two stabbed as police deal with 'terror incident'". Sky News. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  17. Nickless, Victoria (21 June 2020). "Statement: Forbury Gardens Attack Reading" (Press release). Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  18. "*UPDATED* Murder investigation launched – Reading | Thames Valley Police". www.thamesvalley.police.uk. Thames Valley Police. 20 June 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Reading attack: Stabbings declared 'terrorist incident'". BBC News. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  20. "Murder Investigation - Reading" (Press release). Thames Valley Police. 21 June 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2020. Counter Terrorism Policing can now confirm that the stabbing incident that happened in Reading last night (20/6), has now been declared a terrorist incident.

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